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Wordpress Users: Watch Out for Fake Copyright Infringement Warnings

by on July 19, 2022
in News, Computers and Software, Computer Safety & Support, Blog :: 4 comments

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Site owners who use Wordpress need to be aware of a new technique that scammers are using to phish for Wordpress login credentials: fake copyright and trademark infringement notices. If you or an employee fall for this attack, your entire site could fall into the hands of scammers who may use your site to spread malware or force you to pay a ransom to regain access.

The scam begins when the scammers send the website a notice via email or through the website’s contact system with some legal-ish sounding language claiming that material on the site is infringing their copyright to images or other content. In order to see details of the alleged infringement, the site owner is directed to a “dashboard” on a Wordpress.com hosted site. Once there, the website owner will be presented with a form asking them to log in using their Wordpress login credentials. Of course, there is no infringement dashboard, and if you fill in the form you have just given scammers the information they need to take over your site.

We’ve received a couple of notes from readers who have been targeted in recent days by this scam. Here is a typical example of the scam copyright email:

From: Rebecca Wilhoite <[redacted]@hotmail.com>
Subject: Lawful notice of Copyright Breach

Message Body:
Hello.

Your site ([redacted]) or a site that your business hosts is infringing on copyright-protected images owned by myself.

The wordpress official copyrights dashboard can be found at:

https://wordpress.com/typo/?[redacted]

Find out your wordpress copyrights dashboard with the links to my images you used and my earlier works to get the proof of my copyrights.

I believe you have willfully illegally acted upon my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be held liable for statutory damages as high as $740,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”) therein.

This letter is official notification. I request the removal of the infringing material referenced above. Please take note as a service provider, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires you, to delete or disable access to the infringing materials upon receipt of this e-mail. If you do not stop the use of the aforementioned copyrighted material a lawsuit will be commenced against you.

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Regards.
Rebecca Wilhoite

And a similar version alleging trademark violation:

Hi.

Your site ([redacted]) or a site that your company owns is breaking on trademark-protected content owned by myself.

The wordpress official trademark dashboard can be found at:

https://[redacted].wordpress.com/

Check out your wordpress trademarks dashboard with the links to my media you used and my aforementioned works to get the evidence of my trademarks.

I believe you have willfully broken my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $520,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") therein.

This letter is legal notification. I request the removal of the infringing media referenced above. Please take note as a service provider, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires you, to remove or disable access to the infringing media upon receipt of this letter. If you do not cease the use of the aforementioned copyrighted material a lawsuit will be commenced against you.

I have a good faith belief that use of the trademarked materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the trademark owner, its agent, or the law.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Regards.

Edwina Brier

The scam works very similarly to a copyright scam I reported on back in May, 2021 that used similar fake copyright infringement notices to trick website owners into downloading ransomware. So whether your site is built on WordPress or not, please make sure everyone in your company is aware that this attack vector is being used for various types of malware and phishing attacks. And if you have examples of similar messages you’ve received, please post them in the comments below so others can discover them if they are searching on this topic.

[Image credit: Wordpress app on iPhone via Techlicious/Smartmockups]

Josh Kirschner is the co-founder of Techlicious and has been covering consumer tech for more than a decade. Before founding Techlicious, he was the Chief Marketing Officer for Inform Technologies, a start-up provider of semantic technology to media companies. Prior to Inform, Josh was a SVP and Managing Director in the financial services industry. Josh started his first company while still in college, a consumer electronics retailer focused on students.



Discussion loading

I have had a similar

From Graeme Lee Rose on July 19, 2022 :: 8:28 pm

I have had a similar email three times in the past couple of days. Here is the content:

From: Isabel Del Fabbro <[redacted]@gmail.com>
Subject: Copyright Takedown

Message:
Hi.

Your site (mywebsite.com) or a site that your company hosts is breaking on copyright-protected content owned by my business.

The wordpress official copyright dashboard can be found at:

https://[redacted].wordpress.com

Check out your wordpress copyrights dashboard with the links to my media you used and my previously mentioned works to get the proof of my copyrights.


I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be held accountable for statutory damages as high as $190,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”) therein.

This letter is official action. I request the removal of the infringing media referenced above. Please take note that as a service host, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires you, to delete or disable access to the infringing content upon receipt of this email. If you do not stop the use of the aforementioned copyrighted material a lawsuit will be commenced against you.

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Best Regards.
Isabel Del Fabbro

Reply

Copyright Takedown Notice

From Emily on July 20, 2022 :: 4:20 pm

Here’s the copyright takedown notice I just got via the contact form on my site:

From: Tosha Sprent <[redacted]@gmail.com>
Subject: Copyright Takedown

Message Body:
Good day,

I write to you to inform you that I have filed a legal complaint against your website <mywebsite.com> for hosting my content illegally.

Your website (or website your company/hosting owns) is providing access to my copyrighted material owned by myself. I did not authorize you access to this media, and have initiated legal action.

You may find the details and proof of my copyrights through the legal wordpress dashboard:

https://wp.me/[redacted]

Please note the following:

-If you are not located in The United States of America you are still subject to US copyright laws because of:
  a) Utilizing a .com domain (owned by the USA)
  b) Hosting your website on US servers (hosting providers)
-Even if my content was not hosted with ill intent, i still maintain the right to proceed with legal action.

I can’t place a price on peace of mind, when you’ve worked so hard to build a brand and someone steals your content and posts your images illegally, it can be extremely hurtful and damaging to the work you’ve created and the brand you’ve built.

I swear under penalty of perjury that I have reasonable good faith belief that use of the material in the manner specified above is not authorized by me, the company I represent, its agents, or the law. The information provided herein is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I hereby authorize wordpress.com to act as my/our non-exclusive agent for this copyright infringement notification process.

This is official notification.

This is a legal notice.


Regards
Tosha Sprent

Reply

Here's The Message I got on mine just today

From V. on July 28, 2022 :: 10:41 am

Good morning,
I write to you to inform you that I have filed a legal complaint against your website—————- for hosting my content illegally.

Your website (or website your company/hosting owns) is providing access to my copyright-protected material owned by myself. I did not authorize you access to this media, and have initiated legal action.

You may find the details and proof of my copyrights through the legal wordpress dashboard:

https://[redacted].wordpress.com

Please note the following:

-You have up to 24 business hours to respond via the dashboard before your website will be put on hold, rendering it inaccessible until your response
-If you are not located in The United States of America you are still subject to US copyright laws because of:
a) Utilizing a .com domain (owned by the USA)
b) Hosting your website on US servers (hosting providers)
-Even if my content was not hosted with ill intent, i still maintain the right to proceed with legal action.

I can’t place a price on peace of mind, when you’ve worked so hard to build a brand and someone steals your content and posts your images illegally, it can be extremely hurtful and damaging to the work you’ve created and the brand you’ve built.

I swear under penalty of perjury that I have reasonable good faith belief that use of the material in the manner specified above is not authorized by me, the company I represent, its agents, or the law. The information provided herein is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I hereby authorize wordpress.com to act as my/our non-exclusive agent for this copyright infringement notification process.

This is official notification.

This is a legal notice.

Regards
Fabian Hammons

Reply

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From nulzone.fr on September 11, 2022 :: 1:57 pm

https://nulzone.fr - Forum Communautaire Francophone pour Webmaster !
Téléchargement Gratuit de thèmes & plugins Premium pour WordPress, Scripts-PHP, Logiciels et ressources pour Webmaster. (Aide contre le spam )

Reply

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