From Nigeria with Love – old sk00l spam

Every now and then we at SophosLabs receive a sample of malware or spam that (laughs aside) shows the true inventiveness of the spammers and malware authors.

During the World Cup I received some SMS spam on my phone but this week’s spam sample was even more sophisticated! (And by sophisticated, I mean lowbrow, grass-roots, snail-mail con-job, low-tech and yet probably more effective than regular email spam.)

I mean, what spammer would spend the time to type up a letter using some official looking letter head, sign and stamp it to add that official feel and even pay for postage! Dedication++ suggests the tangibility and effort might be paying off – but how different is this from your regular run-of-the-mill email spam (apart from the much reduced volumes)?

Fancy stuff aside, the letter boils down to the following 419 cliché – A random barrister is asking you to commit fraud in order to claim an inheritance of a sizeable amount of money, and of course the transaction and details are of utmost secrecy. It even has an apology incase you’ve been offended by the idea of committing fraud to pocket someone else’s cash!

Divulge your details and I assure you the only thing you’ll be getting is likely to be a call from your bank manager.

Now I guarantee that no anti-spam product on the market will stop this type of campaign. Luckily, due to its nature, it is of low volume – however, if you have received such a request, you may wish to have your local federal investigators examine it, or utilize the SophosLabs approved in-house anti-spam solution as shown below.