Yesterday we saw quite a few copies of a new, shameless as ever type of 419 email in our spam queues. The email starts off in the usual manner:
I do not know your exact name. I can only guess. I ask you to read through my letter up to the end.
It's at this point that if I was at home I'd hit delete, but here we get paid to read these things through and make sure that our customers are protected from this type of phishing attempt. I'll spare you the whole text but the gist of the mail is that a poor chap is trying to get to China to find his wife - in other words it's the usual attempt at pulling on the heart strings of random email recipients.
And still, if you will be able to help me I shall consider you to be the best man in this world. You will save a life of mine Jin. I shall write the data on which I will be able to receive cashes in Philippines through Western Union.
Spammers and scammers are always ready to jump on the latest disaster or big news headline to try and exploit users. Past examples of similar scams include the Concorde air disaster, the London bombings, and the war in Iraq.
We've already seen examples of malware being spammed out as a China earthquake news story. As with the earthquake based phishing attempts, Sophos users are protected.