iPhone 5 ‘pre-order’ is a scam

Scammers are exploiting the excitement over today’s iPhone 5 launch to spread malware via a fake email.

The email – which purports to show details of the ‘iPhone 5GS’ – includes a picture of a transparent phone and an ‘order now’ button. It was first noticed by Dutch journalist Abram Wagenaar.

While it might seem pretty implausible that Apple would issue its own ‘spoiler’ in this way, the huge hype over the launch makes it highly likely that some users will click without thinking.

According to Graham Cluley of Sophos, clicking on the links in the email takes users to some Windows malware – ironically, Mac users seem to be immune – which Sophos has identified as Mal/Zapchas-A.

“Apple product announcements are always big news,” says Cluley. “And I think we have to accept that it’s likely that whenever Apple is scheduled to reveal new technology that cybercriminals will try to exploit the interest.”

A very similar scam emerged in June, in the run-up to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference: once again, details of the iPhone 5 were promised. Links in that email infected users with the Troj/Zapchast-B Trojan horse.

Much of the text in the latest email is very similar, implying the same scammers may be at work.