In the last couple of days, we've noticed an increase in the number of viruses received by e-mail. So far, nothing new. What is surprising this time around is its capacity to legitimately pass as coming from somebody we know.
Here's an example of what you could receive by e-mail:
There are a couple of elements that make this virus stand out from previous viruses we've seen in the past:
- It's in French. Most viruses are in english, which allowed us to detect them pretty easily. In this case, it's written in a pretty good French;
- It's adressed directly to your e-mail (and not a generic e-mail where you're in BCC). Although this is a strategy that's been used for a while now, so it's nothing new;
- The contact name in the FROM e-mail is someone you know. That means the virus had access to your contact information from somewhere (probably via an infected friend);
- The contact name in the bottom of the e-mail is from someone you know (and, of course, the same name that was used in the FROM e-mail);
- They put a small note at the bottom of the e-mail confirming that the e-mail is garanteed virus-free by Avast (sneaky...).
All these things put together create a great mix that increases the chances of someone accidently opening the attachment. We've already seen a couple of different versions of this e-mail, meaning that at least 3 different people around us seem to have already been infected, so be careful!