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While browsing some sketchy site on my Chrome for iOS browser I got redirected out of my browser into my Mail app. I was greeted with this message: enter image description here

I immediately figured this was a phishing attempt to get me to hit send and they'd have my email address or try to get other details in a reply. But then I realized the "to:" email was "foo@example.com". Now I'm not saying the phisher can't own that email, but seeing as that email is used all time to where it's basically a default throwaway/test/example address it seems unlikely to me it's still available for someone to grab and use for this.

So what I'm wondering is why throw me into my mail client in this phishing attempt. Is it likely they do own that email or have a way to intercept mail to it? Or were they just using the mail client as a sort of popup with the goal of me to call the number in the subject line?

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    This looks like they are just trying to get you to call. But I wouldn't rule out the chance that this is a script kiddie's failed attempt at properly modifying the attack... – MiaoHatola Mar 15 '17 at 17:54
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I believe that this is attempting to take advantage of a flaw in an older version that would spawn numerous copies of that message, leading the user to believe the only way to remove it was to call the number for tech support. The message was never intended to be mailed, so the address was never important.

https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/267132/ios-safari-repeatedly-opens-virus-detected-emails

You should probably update your IOS if you are getting this.

  • Interesting, good find! It did indeed try to keep opening Mail every time I opened the browser but my connection was slow enough I guess to where I could kill the tab after it tried twice so I didn't think much of it. I guess that "trapping" is the reason they did it. – DasBeasto Mar 15 '17 at 19:59
  • Although my OS is up to date so I'm not sure if that flaw has been patched. – DasBeasto Mar 15 '17 at 20:01

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