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01 December 2016

New Cyber Warnings and advice

Fraudsters are sending out a high number of phishing emails to personal and business email addresses with the message subject heading ‘Crime Prevention Advice’. The email sender is potentially spoofing a Metropolitan Police email address, showing the sender as ‘crime@content.met.police.uk’.

This attachment contains malicious content which downloads the iSPY key logger to the victim’s device. This key logger records keystrokes, steals passwords stored in web browsers and Skype conversation records, takes pictures via webcam and stores the license keys of software like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.

Fraudsters are sending out a high number of phishing emails to personal and business email addresses pretending to come from ‘donotreply’ followed by the victims’ own email extension (for example donotreply@city-of-london.pnn.police.uk).

The subject line currently is shown as a series of random numbers and letters; ‘RNP0024D5D73B3A’ and ‘KMBT_C220’ have both been seen. The emails include an attachment – a .zip file, usually with the current date followed by random digits in the file name.

These attachments typically contain a password stealing component, with the aim of stealing your bank, PayPal or other financial details along with your email or FTP (web space) log in credentials. Many of them are also designed to specifically steal your Facebook and other social network log in details.

Similarly, a very high proportion also contain Locky ransomware, that once downloaded will encrypt files and demand money (typically about £350) to recover the files.

PROTECTION / PREVENTION ADVICE

Having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent you from becoming infected.

Please consider the following actions:

Don’t click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages. Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication. Information on how to locate email headers can be found at https://mxtoolbox.com/Public/Content/EmailHeaders/

Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.

Most anti-virus software contains an ‘anti-spyware’ scan which may be able to detect key loggers. If your current software does not offer this function, consider installing software which does - both free and paid for anti-spyware is widely available.

Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It’s important that the device you back up to is not left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that device as well.

If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should immediately contact your bank.

If you have been affected by this, or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Advice on when it should be reported to PSNI as a ‘Call For Service’ can be found at: https://www.psni.police.uk/crime/fraud/Reporting-Fraud/