Warn the CIO: E-Mail Attacks Turning Personal

Loraine Lawson

I'm stepping out of my nanotech, Jetson-world today to tell you about a disturbing emerging security trend.

 

Researchers at the security firm MessageLabs are warning about a new trend in cyberattacks: trojan-bearing e-mails targetting specific corporate executives and senior managers.

 

These e-mail attacks have included both the name and job title of the intended victim in the subject line. While that would arouse suspicion for me personally, it's apparently working.

 

The e-mails have a Microsoft Word document attached, which contains embedded executable code. Once you open the Word document, the code runs and you've got a trojan on your executive's PC.

 

It's interesting to note that 30 percent of the e-mails identified so far targeted chief investment officers. Eleven percent were aimed at CEOs, while - and please do pass this information to your IT chief - 7 percent were sent to the CIO.


 

Imagine how embarrassing it'd be to fall for this new trick after sending all those tersely worded corporate memos warning users not to open e-mail attachments?


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