Beware copyright infringement warnings bearing malware

Be on the lookout for fake copyright warnings that may arrive via a contact form web page -- they usually point to an apparent Google site that can trick you into installing ransomware.

A incident similar to the ones described in the article Fake Copyright Infringement Warnings Used to Spread Ransomware has been reported at Brown (see below for full message). It is a good reminder to be vigilant for clues of a scam (in this one, a threatening message demanding urgent action with stilted language such as "strong faith belief").

Doing a search on "I have a strong faith belief that utilization of the copyrighted materials" resulted in several hits, including the "Fake Copyright" story. Checking the URL at Virus Total ( confirmed our suspicions when it showed that it had been flagged as malware by a security vendor. 

Remember: If it smells phishy, it probably is -- but if unsure, forward it to us at the Phish Bowl.

Sent via form submission from The Carberry Lab

Name: Claudia White

Email Address:

Subject: ! Dmca Copyright Infringement Notice

Message: Hi there!

My name is Claudia.

Your website or a website that your organization hosts is violating the copyrighted images owned by myself.

Check out this document with the URLs to my images you utilized at and my previous publication to find the evidence of my copyrights.

Download it now and check this out for yourself: [REDACTED]

I think you've willfully infringed my legal rights under 17 USC Section 101 et seq. and can be liable for statutory damage of up to $130,000 as set-forth in Section 504(c)(2) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) therein.

This message is official notification. I demand the removal of the infringing materials described above. Please be aware as a company, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act demands you, to eliminate and deactivate access to the infringing materials upon receipt of this particular letter. If you do not stop the utilization of the above mentioned infringing materials a law suit will likely be started against you.

I have a strong faith belief that utilization of the copyrighted materials referenced above as allegedly infringing is not permitted by the copyright owner, its legal agent, or the law.

I swear, under consequence of perjury, that the information in this letter is accurate and that I am currently the copyright proprietor or am permitted to act on behalf of the proprietor of an exclusive right that is presumably infringed.

Claudia White


Phishing Email (on campus)

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