$50 iTunes Gift Card Email Carries Malicious Exploit

I got an email today from Sophos.  Their alert read:

Hackers have spammed out widely a malicious email attack, posing as a gift certificate for Apple iTunes. The emails, which claim that the recipient has received a $50 iTunes Gift Certificate, carry a dangerous ZIP file which can infect Windows computers.

The emails read as follows:

Subject: Thank you for buying iTunes Gift Certificate!
From: "iTunes Online Store" <software@itunes.com>
Attached file: iTunes_certificate_997.zip


You have received an iTunes Gift Certificate in the amount of $50.00
You can find your certificate code in attachment below.

Then you need to open iTunes. Once you verify your account, $50.00 will be credited to your account, so you can start buying music, games, video right away.

iTunes Store.

Earlier today I got a call from a client, and they had fallen for this scam over the weekend and now I am working to restore her machine to working condition.  This client is pretty technically savvy and security aware, but it happened to be their birthday….and so there was a plausible chance it was really a gift.

The lesson here is to always be super suspicious of anything like this that arrives by email.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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