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‘Incoming Fax Report’ Malware Email

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, which purports to be an incoming fax report, the recipient can click a link to read the fax file online. Supposedly, the fax is related to a payroll.

However, the email is not a genuine fax report. Instead, it is a ruse designed to trick users into visiting a compromised website that harbours malware. Those who go ahead and click the link in the hope of viewing the supposed fax file will be taken to a website that displays a ‘please wait’ message. The compromised site may attempt to load malicious scripts, which then redirect to a malware page. 
The exact configuration and payload of the malware sites may vary. Typically, however, malware downloaded from such sites may perform one or more nefarious tasks. It may harvest information from the infected computer and send it to cybercriminals. It may allow criminals to control the computer remotely and join it to a botnet. It may download and install even more malware that can perform various other functions.

While reliance on the once ubiquitous office fax machine has ebbed considerably in recent years, faxes can still be sent and received via online fax services. These services may send users an email to notify them that a fax has been received.

The criminals bank on the fact that at least a few customers of such services may click on the link without due caution. And, even people that have never used such a service may be panicked into clicking the link in the mistaken belief that their bank account has been compromised or payments have been made in their names.

The same ‘Incoming Fax Report’ ruse has been used several times before. Some versions include the malicious payload in an attached file. In 2012, a similar message claimed to be from online fax service RapidFax. An attached file carried a trojan. Be cautious of any unsolicited email that claims that you have a fax waiting online. If you receive one of these messages, do not click on any links or open any attachments that it contains.

Example

*********************************************************
INCOMING FAX REPORT
*********************************************************

Date/Time: 10/02/2014 05:13:13 EST
Speed: 25903 bps
Connection time: 04:08
Pages: 7
Resolution: Normal
Remote ID: 8102702342
Line number: 4
DTMF/DID:
Description: Payroll

Click here to view the file online

*********************************************************



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