Spam, Phish or Malware?


Some mornings I check mail from my phone. This showed up this morning.
My first thought was “oh, no, Pizza Hut is spamming, wonder who sold them my address.”
Then I remembered that iOS is horrible and won’t show you anything other than the Friendly From and maybe it was some weird phishing scheme.
When I got to my real mail client I checked headers, and sure enough, it wasn’t really from Pizza Hut. I’m guessing actually malware, but I don’t have a forensics machine to click the link and I’m not doing it on anything I can’t wipe (and have isolated from the rest of my network).
The frustrating thing for me is that this is an authenticated email. It not from Pizza Hut, the address belongs to some company in France. Apparently, that company has had their systems cracked and malware sent through them. Fully authenticated malware, pretending to be Pizza Hut, and passing authentication on various devices.
Pizza Hut isn’t currently publishing a DMARC record, but in this case, a DMARC record for Pizza Hut wouldn’t matter. None of the email addresses in the headers point to Pizza Hut.
I spent last week listening to a lot of people discussing DMARC and authentication and protecting people from scams and headers. But those all the protocols in the world won’t protect against this kind of thing. Phishing and malware can’t be fixed by technology alone. Even if every domain on the planet published a p=reject policy, mail like this would still get through.

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