How we Analyze a Suspicious Email

Spam filters will only ever catch so much. Sometimes a bad email gets through because the writer is very smart. I received such an email over the weekend. Here it is:

suspicious email

This email is a phishing attempt. It got through because it is so simple and so on target. I buy organic foods when ever possible. I’ve been known to be jealous of people driving around making money because they loaned out the surface of their automobile. So this email speaks to me. But because it is so simple it caught my eye for another reason – I thought to myself, this is probably a phishing attempt.

So I launched the Outlook app, MessageHeaderAnalyzer to have a look at how this email got to me and where it’s going to go if I reply.

suspicious email

At the beginning it all looks legit, it’s actually TO me and FROM him but then I start scrolling through the details and I see this:

suspicious email

Normally when you reply to an email you expect it to go to the person that sent it, but in this case the FROM address is spoofed and the Reply-To is actually encoded to go to another destination at gmail. What would happen if I replied? Hard to know for sure but it’s likely that they’ll pretend to be Organic Valley Milk and of course they’ll need my banking information, name, address, and other information about me in order to schedule the skinning of my car and to start to pay me.

Yep, this is a phishing attempt and one that no spam filter is going to catch. It takes people. So no out of the blue invitation to have my car skinned and starting making an extra $1000 a month for me. Sad smile 

Did You Know? We’ve got a great short training program on how to identify Phishing email? It doesn’t involve digging through message headers like this one, anyone can do it and we can go through it with a group in about 30 minutes. It can save your company from getting infected or from losing critical information like banking or other credentials. Let you tech know and we’ll schedule it with you.


About Harbor Computer Services

Harbor Computer Services is an IT firm servicing Southeastern Michigan. We work exclusively under contract with our clients to provide technology direction and either become the IT department or provide assistance to the internal IT they already have. We have won many awards for our work over the years, including the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2010. We’re the smallest firm to have ever won this most prestigious award. Most recently we were recognized as one of the top 20 visionaries in small business IT by ChannelPro Magazine (2015). And in 2016 as the top Michigan IT firm for Manufacturing. There are a few simple things that make Harbor Computer Services the best choice for your business. •We are Professionals •We are Responsible •We are Concerned About The Success of Your Business



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