Friday, February 24, 2012

‘Unsubscribe URL’ in Fax Spam Leads to Malicious Website

Fax SpamWe expect malware to be present in files attached to unsolicited email. It may even be assumed that a link in a spam email will take us to a malicious site hoping to infect our PC with malware.

But would you expect a good old-fashioned unsolicited paper fax to lead you straight into a malware attack? It could happen.

In fact, researchers at Vircom have stumbled across a piece of fax spam that contains an ‘unsubscribe’ URL that, when visited, will attempt to infect your PC with malware.

Fax Spam Message

Fax spam has been quite common since the 80’s and those who receive it know that their requests to be removed from the ‘marketing list’ are typically ignored, making ‘unsubscribe’ URLs that much more appealing.

The fact that the supplied URL is domain - which is often used by cybercrooks to carry out drive-by-downloads and part-take in other malicious activities - may not mean much to the average user.

In the event that you receive fax spam requesting that you visit a URL in order to unsubscribe from future faxes and you wish to give it a shot:

  • Be sure that you investigate the URL BEFORE visiting it (run it through a URL scanner, check if domain is blacklisted, etc.).

  • Make sure that your computer is fully patched and up-to-date with the latest OS and software updates.

  • Double-check that you have antivirus installed and the virus definitions are current.

Remember that there is no guarantee that whoever is behind the junk faxes will stop and if it’s anything like email spam, then it’s probably not worth the effort – or risk.

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