Account temporarily suspended warns phishing email

Account temporarily suspended warns phishing email

Unbelievable though it may sound, there was a slight lull in the volume of phishing mails stopped by our email filters that targeted specific groups of people. That is not to say there was a let up in the overall volume of spam emails, however. Just that there was a break in the concentrated targeted attacks we have been seeing. It didn’t last long. This morning another batch of phishing emails flooded in. One in particular caught our eye. This one targets Apple users and warns that their account temporarily suspended.

Figure A shows the email. The subject line of the email is “Unfortunately your account is temporarily suspended”. The sender of the email is listed as “Apple Support”. There are two links contained in the email (we have circled these in red). Both links lead back to the same website. The email begins with “Dear Client”. The email does use an Apple brand in the top right hand corner. A copyright notice is fixed to the bottom of the email. The email signs off as “Apple Customer Support”.

MailShark Account temporarily suspended warns phishing email
Figure A – Click to Enlarge

The purpose of the email is to warn the recipient that their account information needs to be confirmed within 48 hours. In the meantime, the account has been frozen. This type of technique is designed to elicit a response from the recipient, via a click on the link.

Once again, this is a fake email. The greeting of the email is one sign; it is not personalised. The wording of the email is clumsy at times. Finally, checking on where the links lead to shows that they do not lead to an Apple site. They lead instead to a phishing site. Phishing sites are designed to harvest user details with the intention of committing fraud.

Apple has a page on how to identify phishing emails; if you have not done so, take a look at it. A basic rule though is to check whether the email is personalised, and to check on where the link in an email leads to. Don’t open any attachments until you can verify they are genuine.

Scott Reeves
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