Western Union money transfer email disguises Trojan attack

Filed Under: Malware, Spam

Western UnionIf you're clued-up about computer security, it's unlikely that you would fall for this scam. However, there are plenty of people who haven't learnt to be suspicious of unsolicited emails and wouldn't think twice about opening an attachment if they believe they've been sent some money via Western Union.

You can imagine how people might be especially vulnerable if they were overseas and expecting some money to be wired to them from relatives back at home.

Here is an example of one of the many malicious emails that has been spammed around the world today:

Western Union malicious email


Money Transfer Information

Message body:

DEAR CONSUMER , You have received a remittance, more information about the money transfer is in the attached file.
Money Order can be cashed at any branch or bank in Your city
Sincerely , Westernunion

As you can see by the following snapshot from our labs, the subject lines and attached filenames can vary - but all claim to be regarding money sent to you via Western Union.

Western Union malicious emails

Sophos detects the malware proactively as Mal/Zbot-CX, a Trojan horse designed to commandeer your computer and put it in the hands of remote hackers.

Always remember - keep your anti-virus software up-to-date and be more skeptical next time you receive an unexpected email promising money out of the blue.

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5 Responses to Western Union money transfer email disguises Trojan attack

  1. Jacques · 1500 days ago

    No, that wouldn't fool me, I wouldn't even have to look at the headers to know that it is a scam. That said, I'm sure it fools a good number of less sophisticated users, and that's all that matters.

  2. Agree! Virus sucks!

  3. Thu Win · 1499 days ago

    The name Western Union is often associated with scammers and bad guys.

  4. @Castle_Ink · 1143 days ago

    It's really too bad that people fall for these kind of scams.

  5. Ink Cartridges · 1045 days ago

    Don't know why people go out of there way to ruin peoples computers.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at https://grahamcluley.com, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley