Beware ‘phishy’ email titled “Seattle Traffic Ticket”

Earlier today the City of Seattle Department of Information Technology became aware of an email sent to hundreds of seattle.gov accounts.  The emails immediately appeared suspect.  Further investigation revealed that they contain a poisoned link that should not be opened.

The emails look something like this:

From:
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 8:18 PM
To:
Subject: SEATTLE TRAFFIC TICKET

Seattle — Department of Motor Vehicles
TRAFFIC TICKET
SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
THE PERSON CHARGED AS FOLLOWS
Time: 0:11 AM
Date of Offense: 20/12/2011

SPEED OVER 50 ZONE
TO PLEAD CLICK HERE AND FILL OUT THE FORM

The City of Seattle does not have its own Department of Motor Vehicles nor does the Seattle Police Department send email notifications of a traffic violations.  Also, note the date – the day is before the month!  Again, do not open the link.  Delete the email or place it in your junk folder. 

The City of Seattle is working with Microsoft to determine the origins of the email. Preliminary investigation indicates that the senders are overseas. 

For more information regarding how to recognize phishing emails, please visit Microsoft’s Safety and Security Center.  For more information about malware, visit the Microsoft Malware Protection Center.