Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Community Service Announcement

This post is unrelated to issues of wrongful conviction/imprisonment/execution. I post because I might hereby spare a reader some unnecessary nuisance.

Beware of a UPS malware attack.

I just received an email, allegedly from the United Parcel Service, informing me I would soon be receiving a package. It included an attachment that I was to open to see the tracking information.

I immediately smelled a big fat commie rat. The email wasn't exactly from UPS. It was from The attachment type looked strange: UPSnotify.rar. I had not previously seen a .rar file.  Since I know that clicking on attachments is a good way to infect my computer, I don't open attachments unless they are from someone I trust.

By comparison, when Amazon informs me they have sent my order, they put the tracking information in the body of the email. They don't require that I open a .rar attachment. Here's the body of the email I received.
Dear customer.

The parcel was sent your home address.
And it will arrive within 7 business day.

More information and the tracking number are attached in document below.

Thank you.
© 1994-2011 United Parcel Service of America, Inc.
They didn't take the time to do a mail merge. Instead of personalizing the email, they used a generic salutation of "Dear customer" followed by a period rather than a comma.

They begin the second sentence with "And."

They forgot "the" before "document" in the third sentence.

The copyright notice made me laugh.  What the hell are they copywriting?

Rather than open the attachment, if only out of  morbid curiousity, I went to Google, the source of all knowledge. And I entered the email title in the search field: United Parcel Service notification. The entire first page of hits consisted of sites explaining that my email was indeed a common malware scam. I didn't go past the first page.

The first link was from Naked Security: "Outbreak: United Parcel Service notification malware attack spammed out."

The fix is trivial. Don't open the attachment. Delete the email, empty your email trash, and go back to fretting over the wrongfully convicted.

You're welcome.

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