Cybercriminals have hit a new low. They’re telling users they might have cancer just to trick them into installing a piece of malware on their computers.
The emails are being distributed as part of a spam campaign that leverages the reputation of the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The malicious notifications carry the subject line “IMPORTANT: blood analysis results” and they purport to come from firstname.lastname@example.org.
The malicious emails read something like this:
“We have been sent a sample of your blood analysis for further research. During the complete blood count (CBC) we have revealed that white blood cells is very low, and unfortunately we have a suspicion of a cancer.
We suggest you to print out your CBC test results and interpretations in attachment below and visit your family doctor as soon as possible.”
The file that’s attached to the emails is not a CBC test result, but an archive (CBC_result_46EA57E17F), which contains what appears to be a harmless PDF document. In reality, it’s a double extension file (CBC_scaned_584444449.pdf.exe).
At the time of writing, 14 of the 50 antivirus engines on Virus Total detect the archive as being malicious.