Quantas, an Australian-based airline, warns people about an email scam regarding seat selection fee receipts. The airline added that emails can easily be spotted as fakes because it includes inaccurate amount paid for selection.
It also has an attached file, which is said to contain malware. As stated by a Qantas spokesperson:
Recipients of the email are being advised not to click the links or download the attached files. We also recommend that recipients run up-to-date security software on their PC and regular virus scans to help protect against security threats.
Emails Scams: Preying on Unsuspecting Victim
In addition, Qantas added that its subsidiary Jetstar also warned its customers about the email scam. The scams found on Jetstar customers’ inbox feature fake itineraries, which came to the airline’s attention earlier this month.
According to Vern Hue of the IDC Australia, email scams are still prevalent especially in the holidays, as they are profitable for scammers that prey on unsuspecting victims.
I believe that the human is the most vulnerable vector that cyber criminals target. Although the security solutions available in the market can detect a large amount of malicious content, the truth is that some of them will manage to evade detection.
Thus, it is up to the mail recipient to make the right judgment on the authenticity of it and take the right security measure. As Hue pointed out:
From a business angle, proactive steps, such as engaging in external threat monitoring and cyber intelligence is a useful tool that proactively seeks out threats against organizations, and in this case cyber fraud.
He also urges user and organizations to step up their investments in security awareness and education programs. This is to make sure that their actions can make a difference. Other than that, users should also patch the applications and the operating system that they are using.
Some other measures like using different security providers can help deter these attacks. The key here is to have a layered approach in safeguarding you IT environment.
Spotting an Email Scam
In relation to this, Erik Larkin posted an article on PC World regarding ways on how users can detect an email scam. This includes receiving email from software that users don’t want, timely or holiday-based email that carries malware, as well as a notification email from PayPal that says they paid a hefty amount for a particular product.