Yesterday I received an e-mail purportedly from Hallmark cards telling me a friend had sent me an e-card. I immediately knew it was fake but was surprised that it led not directly to a phish (phoney) website but to a trojan download. So don’t click the link; it’s not from a friend but a cyber-criminal.
I cut and pasted the e-mail here in italics. (Notice the error in the subject line, “send” instead of “sent.”. Often fraudulent e-mails have misspellings or display poor English.)
From: “Hallmark Cards”
Subject: You have a card send from a friend!
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 03:18:53 +1000
A friend has sent you a Hallmark Ecard
Click here to view your Ecard .
If you would like to return an Ecard to him simply go to http://ecards.msn.co.uk/
in association with
The link to view the e-card immediately initiated a download of the malware trojan horse . So beware an e-card from a unspecified or generic friend. I suspected something was amiss because the misspelling of “send” instead of “sent,” an unlikely error for a major retailer like Hallmark. Also it didn’t say which friend had sent it, which e-card e-mails usually do.
Click here to see what Hallmark says about these fraudulent e-cards.
I knew it was a phish (fraudulent) and wanted to report it to Phishtank so that is why I clicked the the link. However, instead of taking me to a phoney website, it started downloading the spyware immediately. To click the link, I deliberately used a Mac as a precaution. Macs are not susceptible to most spyware. Afterward, I ran my Mac virus software anyway. But I thought I would warn you. I still don’t know how to report it to Phishtank. I wrote to them but they didn’t write back. Sigh. Another unrequited relationship for Ms. Ducktoes.
Zapchast Trojan is the trojan. It is the most dangerous kind. It allows the criminal to take control of your computer. Click here for removal instructions. They are difficult, I warn you.
Also see this Ducktoes blog post on fixing the Hallmark Card malware. It will tell you some free or trial antispyware programs that will fix the Hallmark virus.
Or you can use Spyware Doctor with Antivirus. I am a reseller for this product, and it will work very well although it isn’t free. Spyware is getting worse and worse and Spyware Doctor is the highest rated antispyware. It will fix your problem.