Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Scam Arrives Via Email

 Analysis by: Mary Jen Sen Chua

When news of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was reported earlier this month, many people were bewildered and shocked. A number of speculations have been the topic of discussion in news as well as in social media. Cybercriminals, proving that they will use any tragedy to make money with, took advantage of the said news by using the missing passengers in MH370 as bait in their scam.

The spammed message that we received bears the subject, It’s Important (MH370 Missing Client’s Will) and urged the recipients to contact a certain person to execute the supposedly will of the missing client. Not only does it try to target the reader's sense of alarm and sympathy towards those still missing from the mysterious flight, but also attempts to lure them in with the money involved, which is stated to be USD$ 8.2 million.

While not inherently malicious - the embedded link leads to a harmless site, and there is no malicious payload - the fact remains that the scam artist could have also included such a link or an attachment in this sample, and thus could have severely compromised the reader's system. Scams like this also detract attention away from legitimate cries for help and charity, which is also harmful in the long run. Once again, we remind readers to be especially cautious when receiving spam such as this - try to verify from other external and impartial sources before doing anything. That bit of extra effort may save you a lot of time and hassle.

 SPAM BLOCKING DATE / TIME: March 18, 2014 GMT-8
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