Software

Warning: New Outlook Patch Email a Fraud


Thanks to Ben Camm-Jones at WebUser for this warning. A new scam is a foot. If you receive an email warning about an Outlook vulnerability and guiding you to download a patch, don't fall for it.

I've not received the email myself and I don't have any more details than those offered by Mr. Camm-Jones. I apologize ahead of time if this is old news, but this is the first I've heard of it, and the article's just published today.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

9 comments
casfi
casfi

RE: Warning: New Outlook Patch Email a Fraud Often times people don't do the research, nor do they subscribe to newsletters such as yours. My suggestion is to subscribe to: Microsoft Download Notifications: Microsoft Download Notifications Microsoft Download Notifications is a weekly mailing that points you to the latest free downloads and download-related services from Microsoft. The following offerings are now available in your preferred categories. Register now if you are not already receiving this free mailing. To find more downloads, visit the Microsoft Download Center. For support with downloads, visit the Help and Support site. Plus peer into ALL the newsletters Microsoft [Microsoft@newsletters.microsoft.com] Bill

ssharkins
ssharkins

Subscribing to MS's bulletins and newsletters is a good idea. All that information can be overwhelming. Most users don't have the time to wade through it all and when they do, they don't necessarily understand it. I find it difficult to keep up myself. Certainly, I missed the boat on the update that generated this discussion. I don't recall seeing a thing until I read the linked article in the original post. I'm sure MS announced, I just missed it! I was opposed to the automatic updates initially, but now, I think they're great. The process really does relieve unsupported users (those without an IT department or specialist). But the real purpose of the thread is simply a warning. People who fall for these scams aren't lazy or stupid, as someone else suggested. Most are simply inexperienced. Thank you for the information. I hope everyone who doesn't know about the bulletins, etc. takes a look at what's available. Also, I encourage unsupported users to enable automatic updates.

zarathustra2010
zarathustra2010

It's nice to see that "a new scam is a foot" (sic). I guess there will be a new shoe offering soon to cover these "new foots"(sic). Why anyone even takes such email seriously is a mystery to me. It might be because most users are pretty lazy, and rely on others to keep them informed about software updates. Because of this they are fertile ground for scammers and malware distributors, and number among the majority of users whose machines are serving as cogs in the malware distribution network. I suggest those folks start flexing their "mental muscles", and start researching these things for themselves, and either turn on Automatic Updates in Windows (making sure they use Microsoft Update, rather than Windows Update, so their installations of Office will be updated automatically when Microsoft issues patches for Office as well as XP and Vista), or go directly to Microsoft Downloads to get their patches, and IGNORE these malware-infected emails when they wind up in their Inboxes. Better yet, just DELETE those suckers when they arrive in your Inboxes!!! Save yourselves trouble, as well as your valuable time (and ours). Of course, If you guys wise up, we will lose business from cleaning your machines and charging you beau coup bucks to make you feel safe again (so you can take your machines home from the Shop and start your unsafe browsing all over again, eventually having to bring them BACK into the Shop to get cleaned again.) When will you learn your lessons? You use a "free" AV thinking that it will save you money. But, your tight pocket-book WILL come back to haunt you, eventually. And you spend all your time stealing music and software via P2Ps, or spend hour upon hour cruising through the Adult websites, just not understanding that these are the two BEST ways, short of consciously downloading and installing malware, to get malware on your machine. They are also the two best ways to become part of a "zombie" network. But they are your machines, and you can do what you wish with them. Instead you SHOULD invest $40-$50 and purchase a good anti-malware package which will help keep you safe, along with practicing safe browsing habits(stay away from porn and P2Ps), and then you won't have to bring your machines back into our shops, where we will charge you three times the money you would have paid for a decent malware solution in the first place -- or more, if major damage has been done to your HDs), over and over. Your dangerous surfing habits are bad for you, but EXCELLENT for us. I guess we all have to make a living, don't we? But, it's your choice, isn't it? Donald McDaniel

jim.perkins
jim.perkins

Sadly, it's really a very old scam. And equally sadly, people still fall for it. I believe I read a comment from MS a long time ago that they do not send individual e-mails about patches, and thus, any such e-mail purporting to come from Microsoft is a fraud. Companies should never include links, if any still do ... use your browser to go to the company's website to look for information.

ssharkins
ssharkins

This is absolutely true -- perhaps because of this very abuse, most companies don't send emails with a link that takes you directly to their site. Spam does, but companies you're doing business with don't (at least they shouldn't). If you think a message may be legit, don't use the link in the message. Instead, as Jim advises, use your browser to visit the site and contact their customer service department or other contact personnel. An email link might take you to a site that looks legit, but isn't. Thanks Jim for taking the time to offer this great advice!

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Do you think that hackers are nice people?

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

Kinda 'laid-back' really, probably my age. So, does that mean YOU don't like me?

ipeters61
ipeters61

Look, SOME hackers are bad guys.

ipeters61
ipeters61

Based on what they do all day, I don't think so.