29 July 2013

Emails spammed out in response to royal baby

Subscribers are advised that a variety of phishing emails are currently circulating relating to the birth of a new prince.

Cyber criminals frequently target events of global interest (such as the Boston Marathon bombings).

Almost immediately following the royal birth, large volumes of spam emails have been identified targeting interest in the baby prince. Many of these emails carry malware or links to malicious websites.

Examples include the following, which appears to come from real-time content service ScribbleLive. The message subject line is “The Royal Baby: Live updates”. It includes a fake link to view a live video feed from the hospital.

Fake email including ScribbleLive logo

Image Credit: Trend Micro

Clicking the link will instead redirect you to a website which will attempt to install malware on your computer.

Trend Micro reports that Australia is among the top nations currently accessing the malicious website linked via the email.

The malware involved is generally well known to security vendors, so should be detected and blocked by your security software. However, the type of malware being used by scammers can change and many types of malware can be adapted to improve their ability to avoid detection.

As the news cycle moves ahead from the birth and as the success rate of current spam campaigns starts to drop, scammers will invariably adapt and update the phishing messages to target more current events.

Similar phishing examples have since been identified using the same approach and malware, for example one pretending to be from news service CNN with the subject line “U.S. presidents have spotty record on gifts for royal baby”.

Avoid phishing emails

Always be suspicious of unsolicited emails.

The best advice is to simply delete the email.

Be on the lookout for newer versions of previous phishing messages.

Ensure your security software, operating system and applications are up to date.

Do not click links or open attachments unless you are confident about the sender and the information the email contains.

If you are uncertain about the origin of any email you can always cross check the information by going independently to the source’s website or by calling them using a number you’ve sourced elsewhere.

More information

Trend Micro’s blog post about the phishing campaign.

Read Stay Smart Online’s advice about avoiding phishing and advice about spam.

The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone's circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.


Thank you to those subscribers who have provided feedback to our Alerts and Newsletters. We are very interested in your feedback and where possible take on board your suggestions or requests.


This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

Nothing in this information (including the listing of a person or organisation or links to other web sites) should be taken as an endorsement of a particular product or service.

Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.


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