Online reporter Doug Olenick at SC Media was the first to point to a press release from the NY State Department of Motor Vehicles warning about a phishing scam where New York drivers are being targeted, stating they have 48 hours to pay a fine or have their driver's license revoked. This may happen in your state as well, so this is your heads-up.
The NY DMV alerted motorists that the scam is just bait to entice them to click on a “payment” link that will in turn infect their workstation with malware. The DMV does not know how many people have been affected, but Owen McShane, director of investigations at New York State DMV, said calls came in from New York City, Albany and Syracuse.
Olenick was able to get a bit more detail: "The malware being dropped came in two categories. The first simply placed a tracking tool on the victim's computer to see what websites were visited; and the second, more nefarious, attempted to acquire a variety of personally identifiable information, such as names, Social Security numbers, date of birth and credit card information."
There are several social engineering red flags that show the email is a scam. The supplied links lead to sites without an ny.gov URL, tied to the fact that the state would never make such a request. Here is how the phishing email reads:
“The Department of Motor Vehicles does not send emails urging motorists to pay traffic tickets within 48 hours or lose your license,” said Terri Egan, DMV deputy executive commissioner, in a statement.
McShane noted that this scam is similar to one that hit the state about 18 months ago. The DMV, he said, is often used as bait in phishing attacks. Most previous attacks only lasted for 24 to 48 hours and this attack seems to have wrapped up too at this point, he added. This means that the bad guys may have moved on to other states with this attack, so...
I suggest you send employees, friends and family an email about this Scam Of The Week, feel free to copy/paste/edit:
"Here is a reminder that you need to be alert for fake emails that look like they come from your local police or State Dept of Motor Vehicles (DMV) claiming you have a traffic violation. At the moment, there is a local scam in New York that falsely states you have outstanding violations you need to either pay for or refute, and if you don't your license will be revoked. This scam may spread to the rest of America soon. Remember that citations are never emailed with links in them, or sent out with an email attachment, and report scams like this to your local police department."
Obviously, an end-user who was trained to spot social engineering red flags like this would have thought before they clicked.
I strongly suggest you get a quote for new-school security awareness training for your organization and find out how affordable this is. You simply have got to start training and phishing your users ASAP. If you don't, the bad guys will, because your filters never catch all of it. Get a quote now and you will be pleasantly surprised.
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Let's stay safe out there.
Founder and CEO, KnowBe4, Inc