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If you're using a Windows machine, be on the lookout for a malware-laden e-mail that claims to be offering a $200 gift card to the Apple Store. (If you're using a Mac, you have less to worry about, but it's still fake.) As Webroot reports (via MacRumors), though, the e-mail goes beyond the simple phishing schemes usually associated with these mails and actually possesses the power to do damage to your computer.
In the words of Webroot, "A currently ongoing malicious spam campaign is attempting to trick users into thinking that they’ve successfully received a legitimate ‘Gift Card’ worth $200. What’s particularly interesting about this campaign is that the cybercriminal(s) behind it are mixing the infection vectors by relying on both a malicious attachment and a link to the same malware found in the malicious emails. Users can become infected by either executing the attachment or by clicking on the client-side exploits serving link found in the emails."
In other words, clicking on the attachment in the e-mail or one of the included hyperlinks activates a Java-based bit of malware that infects your Windows machine, thus allowing access to some private data. Apparently the e-mail does a good job of masquerading as an official Apple e-mail (at first glance, anyway), so be sure to look at the source of all such e-mails before interacting them.
If nothing else, take a little piece of personal advice: if receiving a $200 gift card from Apple in your e-mail sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.