Home Malware ASIC ‘Renewal Letter’ Malware Email

ASIC ‘Renewal Letter’ Malware Email

by Brett M. Christensen

A malicious email that claims to be a renewal notification from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is currently being distributed.

The email, which includes the ASIC logo and copyright notice, instructs you to click a “Renewal letter” link to access more information about a supposed company renewal.

The email is not from ASIC. Clicking the “Renewal letter” link downloads a malicious JavaScript (.js) file to your computer.  If you open this .js file,  it will then download and install further malware.

JavaScript is often used to install ransomware, which can lock up the files on your computer and then demand that you pay a fee to online criminals to receive a decryption key.

Or, it might install malware that can steal passwords and other sensitive information from the infected computer.

Fake ASIC notification emails have been used before to distribute malware or steal personal information.

ASIC is warning consumers about the scam messages via a notice on its website, which notes in part:

Scammers pretending to be from ASIC have been contacting Registry customers asking them to pay fees and give personal information to renew their business or company name.

These emails often have a link that provides an invoice with fake payment details or infects your computer with malware if you click the link.

If you receive one of these emails, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains. 

An example of the malware email:

ASIC Renewal Malware Email

Transcript:

Please find information in the following link regarding the renewal for your company.

Renewal letter

Select this link to view, save or print the information. This link will remain active for 14 days.

If you no longer need your business name to be registered, please email us at bncancel@asic.gov.au

If you have any questions, contact us at www.asic.gov.au/question

Regards,

[Removed]
Senior Executive Leader
Registry
Australian Securities and Investments Commission

 

Please consider the environment before printing this document

 

Information collected by ASIC may contain personal information. Please refer to our Privacy policy https://www.asic.gov.au/privacy for information about how we handle your personal information, your rights to seek access to and correct personal information, and how to complain about breaches of your privacy by ASIC.

 

NOTICE

 

This e-mail and any attachments are intended for the addressee(s) only and may be confidential. They may contain legally privileged or copyright material. You should not read, copy, use or disclose them without authorisation. If you are not the intended recipient please contact the sender as soon as possible by return e-mail and then please delete both messages. This notice should not be removed.



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