Malicious agents continue to use increasingly sophisticated email templates to fool victims into installing malware on their computers. Most recently, people have been falling prey to an email that appears to be from Dropbox.com, a very widely used cloud storage website. The email uses Dropbox artwork and is kept short and to the point: it warns the user that they need to change their password and provides a link (which, of course, leads to a hijacked website). Adding to this email’s apparent credibility is the fact that Dropbox has engaged in this very same practice to legitimately warn users about password changes. Couple this with the fact that it’s highly likely you have a Dropbox account, and the hook is set before you know it.
What this means for you:
Whenever you receive a warning like this, the safest method to take action is to manually type the URL of the service in question in your browser and never click links in the email, unless you are confident they don’t lead to a hijacked website. Most email clients, including web-based ones like Gmail and Yahoo Mail, allow you to roll over the links in any email and see the actual linked destination (it may take a second or two, be patient while hovering), as it’s trivial to fake the visible destination while sending you down a dark road to infection. For more tips on spotting fake emails like this one, read my previous post, “Fake Emails are Getting Harder to Spot“.