Hoax

Hoax is refer to fraud and scam in computer security. This type of hoax is sometimes called chain email. Have a look at the following message:

“A new virus is circulating!!!!

This information came from Microsoft, and Norton.

Please, transmit it to anybody that you know that has access to the

Internet.

You may receive an e-mail about an offensive Powerpoint Presentation, entitled "Life is beautiful.pps".

If you get it, DO NOT OPEN THE FILE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE and delete it immediately.

If you open that file a message will appear on your screen,  "Now it is late, your life is no longer beautiful" after that you’ll lose EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC and the person who sent it will have access to your name, e-mail address, and password.

It is a new virus started to run Saturday night.

We need TO DO ALL THAT is POSSIBLE TO DETAIN THAT VIRUS.

UOL already confirmed its danger and antivirus software cannot destroyed it. The Virus was created by a hacker that denominates himself as the owner of life and wants to destroy PCs domestic, and fight against Microsoft in justice! Because of this it comes disguised with a .PPS extension. He fights in justice by the patent of the Windows-XP. SEND THIS E-MAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS “

When user see a message like this then what they do is just forward them to other people and people who are received it they also will forward it to others and it keeps go around. Have a look a bit deeply on this message. It said information came” from Microsoft, and Norton”. When Microsoft what to inform users about a new threat, they will put it at their website and they inform user by sending email for people who are subscribe to Microsoft e-newsletters. The funny thing here is the word of Norton!!! It is name of product not a company. Norton is product name for consumer that came from Symantec Corporation and they never call themselves as Norton, However, person that wrote this Hoax is aware that many people are not aware of Symantec but they know what is Norton (Antivirus, Internet Security). We always recommend users that do not open files that they are suspect and no matter what are these and what subject are. There is Virus that could wipe of your harddisk, not only in Windows but they are working in Linux and Apple too but what they try to do is to format your PC. In this case, they just not go ahead and start formatting, if you using Windows, then you might notice that you cannot format a partition that Windows is located in it. In the other hand, the most powerful Malware and Virus all over the world will detect and remove someday, or if their removal or signature that remove or clean Malware take long time to be design they will detect and put in quarantine. I think that writer of this Hoax is fan of science fiction movies  J . As you see this Hoax is similar to movies that a hero wants to save the world and not a true warning. There are different types of Hoax, some of them might ask you that your PC is infected and in order to stay protect it you should delete or modify some sensitive part of Operating System (such as registry)  and when you do you PC might face to serious problems. Hoaxes consist of two parts:

 

1)      Scare: It is part that tells you something that scares you and persuades you to do action. For example tell you that you will infect by virus (Malware) or you may get bad luck if you don’t do that. In our example the scare part is “you’ll lose EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC and the person who sent it will have access to your name, e-mail address, and password.”

 

2)      Action: It is what will ask you to do after scare you. For example pass this email around or modify a file or print message and post it on board. In our example the action part is “Please, transmit it to anybody that you know that has access to the Internet.”

 

If you seen such these message delete it and do NOT PASS IT AROUND AND DO NOT FORWARD IT. Forwarding these messages will cause the other people that do action or forward message and when they do the email mailbox will take extra size. The other risk is user usually forward these type of message around and when they forward the message then the address of preview sender (people who forward this message to you) will be reveal to others. Some Hoax might contain Malware (Virus, Worm , Trojan , Spyware…) in this case they would block by your Anti-Malware if it is running and update but these type of Hoax do not have any attachment and the way to block them is using Spam filter by keyword blocking . For enterprise users, in you company you could use Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Forefront Protection for Exchange, what you could use is that create role in your spam filter, if you receive such these message (Hoax) you should block them by keywords. The reason is as you see this message will send from people that are already trusted and they don’t want to harm you but they don’t know that this message is hoax. In Exchange Server 2010 you could apply RMS (Right Management Service) base on keyword. It means that apply role that whenever keywords has been detect then apply RMS.  Then you could use RMS to block message from forwarding by your users. Also ask your staff to report such emails to you (administer).  I recommend you to have a look at McAfee Lab for more examples regarding to Hoax

 

 

 

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