July has set a 2008 record for virus-laden e-mail, according to tracking information released by Google’s Apps Security & Compliance Team this afternoon.
The data shows more malicious messages sent in July than in any other month so far this year. The worst was on July 24, when 10 million infected e-mails went out around the world.
Google says a UPS scam accounted for much of the traffic. The e-mails had what looked like a link to package tracking information but ended up being a link to malware instead. Another offender was a fake CNN newsletter, also containing dangerous links.
For August, the team has found a shift to infected file attachments — a phenomenon that had been decreasing in recent months. The particular case cited uses encrypted RAR files.
Update: Moments after publishing this, I received a virus-linked message myself. Good timing.
Dear valued PayPal member:
Due to concerns, for the safety and integrity of the paypal
account we have issued this warning message.
It has come to our attention that your PayPal account information needs to be
updated as part of our continuing commitment to protect your account and to
reduce the instance of fraud on our website. If you could please take 5-10 minutes
out of your online experience and update your personal records you will not run into
any future problems with the online service.
However, failure to update your records will result in account suspension.
Please update your records on or before August 14, 2008.
Once you have updated your account records your paypal account
service will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.
To update your PayPal records click on the following link:
PayPal UPDATE TEAM
Of course, the links led to nonsense domains that had nothing to do with PayPal.