Warning: fake PCTools email

  skeletal 23:29 20 Jul 2006

Hi all

I have just fallen for a variation on a common scam!

Be careful of an email sent from Spysoftcentral that says:
Thank you for your order. Spysoftcentral processes orders and collects payments on behalf of PC Tools.

Your credit card (VISA) has been debited with GBP 79.39 and the level of credit card authorization has been changed.
Please note that "click here" will appear on your credit card statement, and not the name of the publisher (PC Tools).

You will receive detailed information on the shipment in a separate e-mail that was sent at the same time as this e-mail.

The following product involves a subscription:

Spyware Doctor - 3-months subscription
Duration of the subscription: Until cancelled Payment interval: every 3 months Order Date: 19 JUL 2006

The attachment to this e-mail includes an invoice for your order.

THIS IS SPAM and has an attachment that contains malware.

By coincidence (or design?) I updated my copy of the excellent Spyware Doctor yesterday and thought there had been a mistake during the update process that had charged my credit card. I immediately clicked on the attachment to see the “invoice” to try to sort out the “mistake”.

This launched the trojan; luckily, my virus checker stopped it running.

PCTools (the supplier of Spyware Doctor amongst other things) very quickly confirmed it was not from them and warned me it was malware.

Lessons learned:
If you get this email you now know its malware.
No matter how much you hear about this sort of thing, you’ll get caught one day!
Keep anti–virus software up to date (mine updates every 30 minutes).
PCTools are the fastest responding company I have ever contacted about a problem (within an hour or so, unlike some very well known companies who don’t bother replying, ever).


  johnnyrocker 23:32 20 Jul 2006

caught it by my mailwasher pro and deleted as i dont have a visa card lol


  Jimmy14 00:07 21 Jul 2006

what anti-virus do you have that has definitions that need updating every 30 MINUTES???

  skeletal 09:38 21 Jul 2006

johnnyrocker, out of interest, did your email arrive just after you had done any purchase/update of a PCTools product, or was it totally random? Part of why I got caught was that it matched perfectly with the previous days activities. I often get phishing emails supposedly from Microsoft and Paypal (and others, but those two are the most common) but they are random so it's much easier to tell they are fake.

Jimmy14, I use Sophos which costs about £100 per year and thus is rarely mentioned in magazines aimed at a typical consumer. It is because I work from home a lot and my company allows such workers to be protected by the company's license.

Like all software you will find pros and cons and lovers and haters. I used to use Norton, but it "let through" a virus that I then unwittingly emailed to work. At work, Sophos caught it, but needless to say this kind of thing is always investigated. Hence the change.

As to the frequency of updates, I would turn the question round: "What AV software DOESN'T update that often"! A few weeks ago Sophos caught another virus I had that was only 2 hours old. A daily update would have been far too late.

All the luck of the draw I guess.


  johnnyrocker 10:38 21 Jul 2006

"johnnyrocker, out of interest, did your email arrive just after you had done any purchase/update of a PCTools product, or was it totally random? "

it was totally random as i have not done an on line purchase for a week or so.


  skeletal 11:21 21 Jul 2006

Thanks Johnny...amazing coincidence then! But at least it looks like the spammers aren't monitoring PCTools web traffic.


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