On Christmas Day, 2011, Apple product users were targeted by a major phishing attack. The Mac Security Blog reported, “A vast phishing attack has broken out, beginning on or around Christmas day, with emails being sent with the subject ‘Apple update your Billing Information.’ These well-crafted emails could fool many new Apple users, especially those who may have found an iPhone, iPod or iMac under their Christmas tree, and set up accounts with the iTunes Store or the Mac App Store for the first time. The messages claim to come from appleidATidDOTappleDOTcom.”
As in most phishing emails, the template and body of the message mimicked Apple’s logo, design, colors, and font. When users clicked links within the email, they were directed to a spoofed website that also had the same Apple feel. Once users entered their personal information, they might be thanked for “updating” their account, or simply wind up in the Internet abyss.
One way to determine whether an email is legitimate is to hover your curser over any links and look at the text displayed. If a link isn’t something like http://store.apple.com or https://appleid.apple.com, it’s a fake. To learn more about how to recognize a phishing attempt, watch this video from McAfee.
While I’m on the subject, however, I may as well mention that I don’t recommend clicking any links within emails, regardless of what the domain says. The safest way to determine whether your account needs updating is to log into your Apple account directly, at https://appleid.apple.com. If there is a problem, you will be notified via internal messages within your account. If not, assume the email is a phish and delete!
And remember, just because you are using a Mac, it does not mean that you are safe from web threats, so make sure you stay educated on the latest threats, use comprehensive security software and be wary of things that sound too good to be true.
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. See him discussing identity theft on YouTube.(Disclosures)
About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Phishers Using Holidays and Social Media to Target
Recent reports of “The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, home to one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, has been forced to shut down its email systems and all Internet access for employees since late last Friday, following a sophisticated cyberattack.”
The sophisticated cyber attack was reported to be the lowly unsophisticated phishing email.
Phishing is emerging as
- Mobile and Phishing – Why It’s More Dangerous
Phishing occurs when scammers send emails that appear to have been sent by legitimate, trusted organizations in order to lure recipients into clicking links and entering login data and other credentials. SMiShing is a version of phishing in which scammers send text messages rather than emails, which, as with phishing emails, appear to have been sent by
- 5 Tips to Avoid bin Laden Scams
After Osama bin Ladens Death a flurry of internet scams hit the internet. Most notably scam emails with links to pictures, videos and phony Facebook messages with links to videos that don’t exist.
When clicking these links your PC can be infected with a RAT which is a remote access Trojan and all your information may
- Phishing Remains Popular and Effective
Phishing, where a scammer sends an email that appears to come from a trusted source in order to trick recipients into clicking malicious links, has been around for quite a while now. Although phishing has become fairly well known, the scam continues to be a successful and widely used as a method of stealing bank
- Myth: Apple Products Don’t Get Viruses
Have you ever bitten into an apple and found a worm? I have, and it’s yummy! Anyway, how many times have you heard, or even said, “I won’t get that computer virus because I have a Mac”? While Mac users tend to feel somewhat insulated from viruses, it’s time for anyone who owns an Apple
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.