Wednesday, 17 May 2017 10:22

Mothers Day Made You WannaCry---Spark Pushes Out Lightbox Canvassing Promo emails over its Xtra service at height of Cyber Emergency

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Promo emails in middle of Mother of All Hacking Attacks


 What was Spark thinking when on Sunday it released to its Xtra email subscribers a promo message from its entertainment operation Lightbox?

The emergency over the global WannaCry hack was sounded at 2030 hrs on the Friday just before. This should have conveyed the message to the entertainment subsidiary that this was most definitely not the time to start a mass promo over email –especially over your own circuits. And have given the unit plenty of time to intercept any such planned scheme. Several days, in fact.

But out the customised marketing email went out on Sunday......by which time the rest of the world was convulsed by the new intruder emergency which this time demanded pay-off for unfreezing users’ computer data.

The Lightbox marketing invitation was ironically entitled “Laugh, cry and escape this Mother’s Day.”

Many Xtra users are unaware that Lightbox is a Spark product.

The email greeted the Xtra customer by their first name and continued-

“This Mother’s Day make a cup of tea, grab the comfiest chair in the house and settle in for some entertaining television.

"Laugh and cry with other people’s families in Better Things, Life Unexpected, Outrageous Fortune and everyone’s favourite and colourful Modern Family.

Don’t forget the biscuits!”

Meanwhile MSC Newswire has received an explanation from Spark over our report of the scam email over Xtra demanding passwords that used in its subject line these words: “Dear Xtra Spark Email User “

Spark notes that the email address rogers.com is a Canadian telco –making very hard for spam filters to detect and block this. This is a very common attack vector for scam emails, because they are more likely to get past filters and into your inbox. Such emails “phishing” emails, because they are fishing for information and- the goal of this email is to get you to respond with personal or sensitive information so they can steal from you or defraud you.

“We have some information about how these work and what you can do on our website - http://www.spark.co.nz/help/internet-email/troubleshooting/what-is-phishing-spoofing-spam/”

Netsafe is also recommended : https://www.netsafe.org.nz/phishing/

MSC Newswire anticipates a response from Spark relating to how in the middle of the WannaCry emergency, a canvassing product email was allowed mass circulation over its own Xtra network.

|  From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk  ||  Wednesday 17 May 2017   |||