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Apple Account ‘Update to New SSL Servers’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Email purporting to be from Apple claims that the user’s online access has been blocked because customers are required to update their information in order to use new ssl servers.

Brief Analysis

The email is not from Apple. It is a phishing scam designed to trick recipients into giving their Apple account details and other personal and financial information to Internet criminals.

Example

Unfortunately, Your online access has been blocked.
As part of our ongoing commitment to provide the “Best Possible” service and protection to all our customers, we are requiring each Customer to Update their account (s) using the new SSL servers to avoid suspension of you online access. Please Update your online account (s) by clicking bellow account update.

Account Update Process >

This is an automated message. Please do not reply to this email.

Apple Update Servers Phishing Scam Email

 

Detailed Analysis

According to an email that appears to come from Apple, the recipient’s Apple account has been blocked until account information is updated.

The email claims that Apple is implementing new SSL servers to increase customer protection and therefore all customers need to update their details or risk suspension of their accounts.  The email includes a link to the “account update process”.

However, the message is not from Apple and the claim that users must update their details is a lie.  Instead, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal Apple ID’s and a large amount of other personal and financial information.
Those who fall for the trick and click the update link in the email will be taken to a fake Apple login page as shown in the following screenshot:

Apple Update Servers Scam Website 1

After entering their login details, victims will be taken to a second page and asked to supply further details, ostensibly to confirm their Apple ID:

Apple Update Servers Scam Website 2

Once victims have filled in the form and clicked the “Update Apple ID” button, they will be redirected to a page on the genuine Apple website.

Alas, while, at this point, victims may remain blissfully unaware that they have been scammed, all of their data may be collected by criminals and used for credit card fraud and identity theft.  And the scammers can also hijack Apple accounts belonging to their victims and use them to launch further spam and scam campaigns and conduct other fraudulent activities.

Apple account phishing scams are very common. If you are an Apple user, you should be wary of any message purporting to be from Apple that claims there is an issue with your account that needs to be rectified or you are required to perform an account update.

It is best to login to your Apple accounts via your applications or web browser rather than by clicking a link in an email.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer