.ZIP Scam

As of 2023-05-22, this will be a relatively new scam that came to my attention. The scam will be designed to download a virus to your computer which of course is not a good thing. They may also seek your personal information, or money – however, I am going to go to the most basic of the scam. The scam uses a legitimate FTP via URL format to trick you. However, once you know what to look for, you would be able to not fall for it. The reason of why people might fall for this is the newly offered .zip domains. One example might be update.zip.

The scam as mentioned uses a FTP via URL. This is in the way of UID:password@Domain. Here is what someone might do if they own update.zip. So if a scammer might try to trick you into downloading an “update” from Microsoft, they might do the following:
With using the FTP via URL format, the UID will be https. The password will be //microsoft.com/ and the URL will be update.zip. The URL looks legitimate, but all URLs must be unique. The difference between a legitimate zip file from Microsoft, and this scam is the @ before update.zip. Therefore, https://microsoft.com/update.zip is a legitimate URL, whereas https://microsoft.com/@update.zip is not likely to be a good URL.

So how do you protect yourself from this new scam? Simply put, any URL with @ in the URL, that is the red flag. I will not select the link, and if I was concerned about an update from Microsoft, I will go to Microsoft’s website directly rather than trying to use the link provided. This trick can work with any unsuspecting legitimate company. It doesn’t have to be Microsoft, but could have a URL similar to what Dell (a computer company), or NVIDIA (a graphics card manufacturer). This is why it is important to look for @.