In the past, US-CERT has received reports of phishing scams and malware campaigns related to topics that are of high-interest to the U.S. Government or news media, such as Hurricane Irene. Users’ systems have been compromised by receiving and accessing phishing emails with subject lines that seem relevant to a high-interest subject and appear to originate from a valid sender. US-CERT reminds users to remain vigilant for potential malicious cyber activity seeking to capitalize on interest in Hurricane Irene. Users are advised to exercise caution in handling any email with subject line, attachments, or hyperlinks related to Hurricane Irene, even if it appears to originate from a trusted source.
US-CERT encourages users and administrators to use caution when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventative measures to protect themselves from phishing scams and malware campaigns:
- Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.
- Use caution when opening email attachments. Refer to the Using Caution with Email Attachments Cyber Security Tip for more information on safely handling email attachments.
- Maintain up-to-date antivirus software.
Refer to the Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams (pdf) document for more information on avoiding email scams.
- Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks Cyber Security Tip for more information on social engineering attacks.
- Report phishing to US-CERT by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.