Thursday, December 24, 2009

Virus Alert: You have received a Christmas Greeting Card!

Tonight I've received dozens of emails with the subject You have received a Christmas Greeting Card! and felt is was appropriate to advise everyone.

These emails are fake and carry malware. Norton Internet Security (the current anti-virus software I'm testing) didn't pick up the malware. Microsoft's Security Essentials identified and deleted the malware once it was saved to the computer.

The email purports to be sent from and has an attachment with the file name Christmas Inside the zip file is an executable program with the name Christmas Card.doc.exe. The number of spaces is used so the extension exe is not easily visible and tricks people into believing they are receiving a Word document.

Using Microsoft Security Essentials and OzEfilter is an excellent way to identify these malware emails and to delete them safely at the mail server before they reach your computer.

You should immediately delete these emails if you receive them.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Update: It's now 8:10am and dozens more of these emails were received overnight. OzEfilter shows the infected emails coming from Korea, South Africa, Netherlands, France, United States and India, so this infection is worldwide. Norton Internet Security is now identifying and removing removing the malware.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Alert: eBay Motors - don't miss today's private deals !

Most of the time I report emails which have malware attached that is not picked up by the anti-virus software. However, since I've seen a number of emails with the subject eBay Motors - don't miss today's private deals !, I decided to investigate. This email looks like a scam.

The email consists of a single image file which if downloaded, contains mapped areas to make people feel there are email addresses they can click on. The link to in particular is not an actual link and another very good indicator the email is a fake.

Checking the origin of the email showed it came from the United Arab Emirates. Other similar emails have been received from Puerto Rico and Saudi Arabia. Again very good clues these emails are fakes.

My guess is the aim of the email is to trick people into responding to one of the email addresses provided, and if they can trick someone, they will.

You should immediately delete these emails, or have a product like OzEfilter delete the emails safely at the mail server and never receive them into your computer.

Clicking on the image potentially provides the sender with your IP address and if your computer/internet connection is not secure, may be a further exposure. Experienced users won't even bother to look at the picture before deleting the email. The sender may take looking at a picture as a clue to you being a less experienced user. I don't know how these people think and I suspect most people don't either. It is best to minimise your exposure where possible.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Welcome Ms Rising Star

I'd like to welcome Ms Rising Star (aka Renée Barber) to JustLocal. Ms Rising Star is passionate about the stars.

With Christmas just around the corner, you may wish to give a gift either to yourself, or someone you know, of an in-depth reading by Ms Rising Star. When I say in-depth, the report is 39 pages. You can find Ms Rising Star at JustLocal.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Dictonary. Oops. I meant dictionary.

As I mistyped the word dictionary today, I wondered about the many ways people may mistype the word dictionary.

The following are the misspellings I found.


If you’re not sure of the correct or preferred spelling of a word in Australia, you can now use Word Check to verify the spelling. You can find Word Check on the main page of JustLocal.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Hoax: Mobile Phone Numbers Go Public this month.

I received an email saying Mobile Phone Numbers Go Public this month and stating PASS THIS ON TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN.

This is a hoax. Do not send it on.

Before sending any emails on that suggest you send them on, do a quick check. It took a couple of seconds to check the Do Not Call site to see this was a hoax.

Take the time to check. Your friends will thank you for it. I've seen a number of people completely embarrassed when they realised they've be suckered with a hoax virus. A hoax virus often does no harm except it tricks people into taking action. One hoax virus we did see, tricked a person into deleting an important file off their computer, so they can be harmful.

OzEfilter is great way to catch these emails before they reach your computer. The email is from someone I don't know and is also from America. Both good indications the email is suspicious.

From what I read the Do Not Call register records your details for three years. Those who registered three years ago will need to re-register, or their telephone numbers will be available to telemarketers. I hadn't read anything about mobile numbers and felt this email was likely to be a viral hoax.

- Kelvin Eldridge

TAGS: donotcall, do not call registry, do not disturb, telemarketer, telemarketers