Virus as an Official Government Document
A warning has been issued by the ACT Office of Fair Trading, ACCC, and ACMA notifying that a hoax email is circulating claiming to be from the 'Australian Office of Fair Trading' but is actually an email virus. The ACT Office of Fair Trading has received so far 175 inquiries about the said mail. The sister departments of ACT are also getting enquiries from all over the nation.
The mail, that is supposedly sent by firstname.lastname@example.org, is quite similar to the one used by the ACT Office of Fair Trading. The mail informs the viewers that their complaints have been registered. It also advises the receivers to print a hard copy of the attached document.
Brett Phillips, Commissioner for Fair Trading at ACT, has notified that this attachment contains a very dangerous virus. The purpose of this virus is to capture personal information that is used for identity theft activities, reported ITnews on August 24, 2007. This virus has been identified as Mal/RtfExe-A by Sophos. This malware makes the targeted system vulnerable and downloads other files.
People who have received this mail are not on the records of Fair Trading anywhere. Philips inferred that this list has been collected in some other way and also confirms that the records of ACT Office of Fair Trading have not been hacked. The ACT Government Security team has found out the location of the source of this virus and is preparing a course of action with the communication and law enforcing agencies.
The ACCC is certain that the information being used by the hackers was not obtained by breaching any of their or the ACT government's secure servers. The recipients of this email have been advised by the ACT Office of Fair Trading, ACMA and ACCC that this mail should be deleted as soon as identified. They have also been advised to contact their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or other technical support in case they have opened the attachment. Strict warning stating not to follow any links on that mail, not to reply to the mail and not to open the attachment has been issued.
Related article: Virus Infects Through USB Drives
» SPAMfighter News - 10-09-2007