Adobe warns of license key email scam

Summary:The company has issued a warning that a malicious email campaign is underway using Adobe software licenses as a lure. Adobe calls it a phishing attack, but other reports say it contains a malware attachment.

Adobe is reporting that "...a phishing campaign is underway involving malicious email purporting to deliver license keys for a variety of Adobe offerings."

Based on other reports, such as this one from MX Lab and this one from Cisco Security Intelligence Operations, the emails are not actually a phishing attack, but contain a ZIP file attachment which itself contains a malicious .exe file.

The file names are and License_Key_Document_Adobe_Systems_____.exe.

The email body, as reported by Cisco is thus:

Subject: Download your adobe software

Message Body:


Thank you for buying Digital Publishing Suite, Professional Edition Digital Publishing Suite software.

Your Adobe License key is in attached document below.

Adobe Systems Incorporated


The MX Lab report shows that there are many variations on the email body. They say the EXE file is 209KB. The VirusTotal report for the malware on Friday night showed 27 of the 49 engines detecting the threat using a variety of threat names.

Topics: Security


Larry Seltzer has long been a recognized expert in technology, with a focus on mobile technology and security in recent years. He was most recently Editorial Director of BYTE, Dark Reading and Network Computing at UBM Tech. Prior to that he spent over a decade consulting and writing on technology subjects, primarily in the area of sec... Full Bio

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