Phishing attack promises a free version of Windows 8

Filed Under: Featured, Phishing, Spam, Windows

On Friday, Microsoft launched Windows 8 to consumers.

Today, the experts at SophosLabs have intercepted a phishing attack which plays upon interest in the new operating system.

Here is an example email, pretending to come from "Microsoft Windows 8 Team", that was caught in our traps:

Windows 8 phishing email

This message is sent to you because, you are a member of the Microsoft window vital user, to Get the new Window 8 freely and fully protected,
click the below Microsoft Window 8 premium link and submit, your info on the webpage and click update.

Window 8 Update

(c) 2012 Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Window 8 Team.

Clearly the cybercriminals aren't wasting any time.

Fortunately, it's hardly the most sophisticated attack in the world, but the offer of some brand new software for free may be enough to trick some people into clicking on the link.

And if you were to click on the link then you would be taken to a webpage hosted on a Slovakian web server which asks you to enter your username, password, email address and server domain name.

Windows 8 phishing website

If you're careless, you could have just handed over the keys to your castle to a bunch of cybercriminals.

If you can't trust yourself - or (perhaps more importantly) the users in your company - not to click on links like this then it might be wise to invest in a security solution that can protect you against email and other internet attacks.

If you are considering adopting Windows 8, check out Sophos's top eight security tips for Windows 8.

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7 Responses to Phishing attack promises a free version of Windows 8

  1. Robert Gracie · 1075 days ago

    Microsoft is going to waste no time going after who ever was behind this give them a month and the persons behind this will be in prison

  2. David Pottage · 1074 days ago

    To be fair, Microsoft have been so desperate to shift copies of windows 8, that they have been selling upgrade copies for almost nothing. I would not be that surprised if I received a genuine email from Microsoft (or one of their resellers) offering a free upgrade if I brought a mouse or a similar cheap bit of hardware.

  3. Simon Lowe · 1074 days ago

    Wow! The sentence formation, capitalisation and punctuation in that e-mail has to be some of the worst I've ever seen! I couldn't help but laugh at the loss of the "s" from the end of "Windows". This new version, "Window", sees all but one window boarded up. Microsoft Window 8 must be a very dark operating system! =P

  4. Randy · 1074 days ago

    Free Windows 8? You would think a phishing attack would involve something that people actually wanted.

  5. skakkola · 1073 days ago

    Why you don't provide more details?
    Who is the message real sender?
    What is the URL of the scamming site???

  6. Nik · 1068 days ago

    Windows 8 has added defender to provide more security to windows. However if we observe the latest rating of Microsoft's IPS it is no where as compared to IPS provided by other security vendors.

    Adding defender appears more like a publicity marketing strategy as compared to be providing real security.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, 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