Security Market Segment LS
Monday, 06 March 2017 12:27

Bogus ASIC email has a catch: Windows ransomware

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An email that claims to be from ASIC is instead a repository for Windows ransomware that will be downloaded if the recipients click on a link within the missive, the e-mail security company MailGuard claims.

The company said the email had landed in people's inboxes this morning and was timed to catch people at the beginning of the working week. Later a MailGuard spokesperson informed iTWire that the ransomware in questioon was CryptoLocker.

The email purports to be from ASIC but is actually sent from a domain that was registered today in China.

The Australian government's coat of arms and ASIC logo are in the email which has a fake email signature attributed to "Max Morgan, Senior Executive Leader" at ASIC. MailGuard said no such employee appeared to exist at the commission.

Other warning signs were that the correspondence was general in nature, did not address recipients by name and the domain name, asic-gov-au.co, differed from the real ASIC domain: asic.gov.au.

asic ransomware

A screenshot of the bogus ASIS email. Courtesy: MailGuard

Those behind the scam ask people who longer need to have a business name registered to email bncancel@asic.gov.au, which is the real cancellation address provided by ASIC.

MailGuard says those who click on the link will open a malware downloader stored within a JavaScript file. This leads to ransomware being executed remotely, MailGuard claims.

iTWire has asked MailGuard whether it is aware of the name of the ransomware that it claims is being downloaded as a result of clicking on the link in this email.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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