Emails with just the subject line “photo” and just a name in the message body include a .zip file that supposedly contains an image.
The attached .zip file contains a dangerous .exe file that, if opened, can install malware on your computer.
Cybercriminals are well aware that, sometimes, the simplest of ruses can be very effective.
In this case, they have distributed malicious emails with just the subject line “photo”. The body of the emails are blank other than for a first name and first initial of a surname. The emails include an attached file called “IMG WA4486103765~JPG.zip”.
The crooks know that at least a few recipients will open the attachment out of simple curiosity. Although the attachment is actually a .zip, its name contains the letters “IMG” and “JPG” to give the impression that it does indeed contain a photo.
If you open the .zip file, you will find that it contains a file called “IMG WA4486103765~JPG.exe”. If you then click this .exe file, malware may be installed on your Windows computer.
More experienced computer users are unlikely to be caught out by such simple tricks. But, alas, there are many users who tend to be naive about the nefarious ways of the Internet and may thus go ahead and open the attachment and infect their computers.
This campaign is similar to an earlier, and quite widespread, malware attack that consisted of emails with the subject line “My new photo”.
Last updated: August 12, 2016
First published: August 12, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
Importance NoticeAfter 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 YouI 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 DateHoax-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!