Cybercrooks Scamming Computer Users By Telling Them They Might Have Cancer in Aggressive Spam Campaign

April 15, 2014

It is not every day that you receive some email notification from the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) explaining that you may have cancer. As it turns out, this is exactly what is taking place in an uncovered spam campaign designed to spread malware through email attachments and links.

A spam campaign is sending out emails that leverages the reputation of UK's NICE with malicious notifications that have the subject line "IMPORTANT: blood analysis results" coming from the email

The email address that the email appears to come from can easily be mistaken for a legitimate email directly from NICE in the UK. The email reads:

"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."

From the way the email reads it could make the convincing case that your latest blood test results show that you could have cancer. Some computer users will shrug this off as a scam, but others may find it to be disturbing and raise the curiosity of them finding out more information about it. This is where the trick comes in as the computer user may choose to download the attachment of the email, which is where the malware can execute and then infect the computer.

The attachment of this particular scam campaign has been identified as the file CBC_scaned_584444449.pdf.exe. Computer security researchers found this file to be a Trojan, a variation of the Win32/PSW.Fareit.A threat, which is primarily designed to steal passwords and other data stored on an infected system.

NICE has been made aware of the spam campaign and has published the following warning on its website:

"NICE is aware that a spam email is being sent to members of the public regarding cancer test results. Please be assured that this email is not from NICE and we are currently investigating its origin. If you have received the email, do not open the attachments."

It appears that several people around the world are getting these messages. It is best that each of them perform a malware scan on their system to ensure their system is not infected with this notorious Trojan horse infection, potentially stealing personal information and then porting it to a cybercriminal.

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