Spoof Companies House email Infects UK Businesses
A quick warning to all of our business colleagues;
An email claiming to be from Companies House is circulating today (3.09.2013) which has a zip file attached to it.
Within the zip file is a .exe file which if clicked on installs a virus on your computer.
The fake email has been carefully styled to look like an official email from Companies House and has the subject line of ‘(CC01) Company Complaint’.
If you receive an email like this with a zip file attached and a “.exe” file within the zip file you should delete it and report it to companies house via email to email@example.com
If you are unfortunate enough to have clicked on it, contact your IT support immediately for instructions on how to deal with it.
The type of virus is as yet unknown, but .zip files are common carriers for virus attacks as they often bypass the security scans.
Here are a few tips about opening .zip files:
- Never open a Zip file that is attached to email from an unknown source.
- If an unexpected Zip file is attached to email from someone you know, consider verifying with the sender that the attachment is legitimate.
- Some viruses spread by emailing copies of themselves to everyone in the contact lists of infected computers; this means that you can receive infected files even from people you know.
Avoid downloading Zip files from untrusted web sites.
Of course, these guidelines don’t apply only to Zip files; they apply equally to any file type.
Disable Hidden File Name Extensions
All current versions of Windows are initially installed with an option called "Hide extensions for known file types" enabled.
When this option is enabled, Windows will not display the file name extensions (.EXE, .DOC, etc.) for file types that it knows about.
This option is considered by many knowledgeable users to be dangerous, primarily because it can mislead you about the true nature of your files.
For example, you might have a virus-infected file named "vacation.jpg.exe". If the hidden extension option is enabled, this file will appear on your desktop or in Windows Explorer as "vacation.jpg", leading you to think that it is a harmless vacation picture.
In fact, it is an executable program, and opening it could infect your computer.