Feeds

Is that a failed Outlook security update in your pocket or are you pleased to phish me?

New scam exploits Microsoft's latest Patch Tuesday confusion

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Web criminals have fired off Patch Tuesday-themed phishing emails to trick confused users into handing over their login details.

Their messages attempt to convince users into visiting a website masquerading as a Microsoft Exchange system, which tries to coax visitors into handing over their email accounts' address and password. Marks are told they must provide the details to get an installer package supposedly needed after a failed Outlook security update.

The phishing text reads:

Windows Installer package update is required to automatically eliminate obsolete patches in your sequence of patches as a report on our server indicates an error code (0x700) as a result of a failed update Every installer sequence patch is being linked to an email account. Fill in the error code and other details to automatically fix this error.

The link is, of course, entirely bogus. It doesn't even follow to an encrypted server. And Microsoft never delivers its security updates via email precisely in order to make this sort of subterfuge stand out.

In the scam, victims are asked to submit an "error code" as well as their email account access credentials, a nice touch that elevates the whole con from entirely implausible to "WTF, you'd have to be daft to fall for this".

Last month some Microsoft updates were reissued after there were problems installing the software, and as net security firm Sophos notes, crooks may be seeking to exploit any confusion this may have caused.

This week's phishing email was capture by Sophos' spam filters. A blog post by the security biz, featuring screenshots of these emails as well as the bogus Exchange web server, can be found here.

The ultimate aim of the crooks behind the scam is unclear. However, compromised email accounts can be used to put together more plausible phishing attacks against their friends and colleagues, breaking into social networks and other web accounts, or for malware distribution among other malign tricks. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.