IMPORTANT – Serious Malware Attack
One of our members just received the e-mail below unsolicited from a local mortgage broker, with a Word document attached (called “request.doc”) that, when opened, asks you to “enable macros” to view the document. There is likely no document to view, as this is a type of malware attack (and in this case, a fairly sophisticated one): enabling macros could allow a document to infect your system (see https://blog.barkly.com/what-is-macro-malware-2017 for a pretty good explanation of how it works). If you ever receive a document, even from a source you might trust, that says you need to enable macros to view it: DO NOT ENABLE MACROS.
The broker probably fell victim to an attack that allowed access to his e-mail, and the attacker found an innocuous e-mail about a charity golf tournament with a number of e-mail addresses (including e-mail addresses of other members) that was then used to spread the attack. The concern about an attack like this is that members might have a relationship with this broker, or know who he is personally, and not treat the attachment with the same caution as they would one from a random e-mail with strange or broken language. It is much more convincing than the average phishing attempt.
We did not include the document itself (not wanting to spread the attack) but it’s important that members are aware because this could very easily trick someone not expecting it, especially as the name is of a real person operating as a mortgage broker locally, and could lead to serious consequences.
Please see attached and confirm.
Mortgage Alliance Atlantic Partnership
Sent: Mon, 28 Aug 2017 15:34:34 +0000
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Subject: RE/MAX Open House Charity Golf Tournament
Dear Prospective Sponsor,
The RE/MAX Open House Charity Golf Tournament is fast approaching! The time to secure your spot as a participant is NOW! The tournament is taking place at Bally Haly Golf and Country Club on September 28th, from 1:00pm-5:30pm, and 100% of funds raised will go to support The Gathering Place and the Community Centre Alliance.
We are reaching out again, and counting on your generosity, to join us in supporting this charitable event. As a sponsor, your company will have ample marketing and networking opportunities to avail of. The benefits are expanded upon in our sponsorship package, which I’ve attached below.
If you are not interested in sponsoring our event, but would like to participate, the cost to register individually is $150.00; the cost to put a team in is $600.00. Golf carts are extra and cost $40.62 (tax included). We are also looking for in-kind donations of prizes and silent auction items, should you be inclined to provide these instead of a monetary donation.
For more information, or to secure your spot as a sponsor, please contact Laura Squires at 709-770-2502, or direct emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. For online registration, please head to: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/remax-open-house-charity-golf-tournament-registration-34859526783. We look forward to hearing back from you, and greatly appreciate your time and consideration!
Thank you very much,