No, NSA whistleblower and U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden did not just purchase a 2 terabyte storage plan for iCloud, nor has he moved back to the States. Instead, a strange spam campaign that targets Apple customers has been found distributing phishing emails containing an Apple receipt that bills $9.99 to an Edward Snowden residing at a U.S. address.
In a Feb. 13 blog post, Malwarebytes reported that these Snowden emails, the contents of which have slightly varied, were observed from Feb. 2-6 of this year. URL shortening service provider PixelMe ultimately blocked the link found within the emails, but it is unclear what the link's original intended destination was.
"The general rule of thumb is to try and be as inconspicuous as possible, so we're not really sure why the scammers went with one of the most well-known privacy advocates on the planet to fill in the personal information box," wrote Chris Boyd, blog author and lead malware intelligence analyst.
On the other hand, if it really is Snowden, it appears he's made a nice life himself -- considering that, according to Boyd, the randomly-grabbed address listed in the spam emails is "from a property website sporting nine bedrooms and four bathrooms."
The same Malwarebytes blog post also references three other recent Apple-themed phishing scams attempting to trick recipients into clicking on malicious links. One involves a fake notification informing recipients that someone is logging into their Apple account using an iPod in Monaco. Another is a smishing scam featuring texts, purportedly from Apple Care, warning recipients that their Apple ID is about to expire. And a third scam was reported by a Twitter user, who received a fake iTunes Store email citing an order ID number that was an actual valid number from a previous purchase the recipient had made.