October 3rd, 2011
While the tech world holds its collective breath for the Tuesday iPhone announcement from Cupertino, some unscrupulous hackers are taking advantage of the fact that we don’t know exactly what the new phone looks like yet — with a fake email, supposedly from Apple, announcing the “iPhone 5S.”
True, the iPhone 5S mockup doesn’t look very realistic. Those of us paying attention to reports and rumors know that it isn’t very likely to be see-through or monochromatic. Its very name is a mashup of two possible Apple phones — the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S. The grammatically-challenged text below the picture should be a tip-off, too: “Introducing the iPhone that lets you do more than ever. And do it amazingly faster.”
But for those who aren’t paying attention, and who are only vaguely aware that a new iPhone is launching this week, such an email — complete with an “order now” button — could make easy bait for malware. And that’s just what this email is, according to security firm Sophos — a lure for users to unintentionally install a nasty little Trojan called Mal/Zapchas-A.
Ironically, given the Apple-based announcement, the malware only affects Windows machines. The email was first noticed by Dutch technology journalist Abram Wagenaar. It bears a great deal of resemblance to a similar email that did the rounds just before the Steve Jobs keynote at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
That email suggested we’d see an “iPhone 5S” with a built-in, slide-out keyboard. The look of that email was less Apple-like than the latest effort, though much of the text was similar. Memo to malware makers: You’ve learned Photoshop; now try brushing up on your copy editing.
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