Avoid infecting your device via fake CVs sent in hoax job application emails
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What kind of email is "Please Find Attached My CV"?
After inspecting this "Please Find Attached My CV" email, we determined that it is malspam. This spam letter is presented as a CV submission from a party interested in working for the recipient's company. The file attached to this email is designed to infect devices with the Agent Tesla malware.
"Please Find Attached My CV" email virus overview
The email with the subject "REQUESTED CV" (may vary) states that the sender is expressing an interest in working for the recipient's company. The sender also indirectly requests an interview.
The malicious attachment is presented as the sender's Curriculum Vitae "CV-pdf.gz" (filename may vary). This archive file contains a virulent executable, which upon being opened – triggers Agent Tesla's infection chain. This malware is a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) – a program designed to enable remote access/control over infected devices. More information on this trojan can be found in our article on Agent Tesla.
To summarize, through emails like "Please Find Attached My CV" – users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
If you believe that your device is infected – immediately run a full system scan with an anti-virus and eliminate all detected threats.
|Name||"Please Find Attached My CV" malspam|
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Fake Claim||Sender is seeking work at the recipient's company.|
|Attachment(s)||CV-pdf.gz (filename may vary)|
|Detection Names (attachment)||Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.65278070), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/GenKryptik.GFLS), Kaspersky (HEUR:Backdoor.MSIL.Androm.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Leonem), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent, and thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.|
|Distribution methods||Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.|
|Damage||Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, the victim's computer added to a botnet.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Malspam campaign examples
We have inspected thousands of spam emails; "Interested In Buying From You", "Payment Remittance Advice", "Statement Of Account (SOA)", and "Pending Payment" are just a few examples of malspam.
In addition to proliferating malware, deceptive letters are used to facilitate phishing and other scams. The emails tend to wear various disguises to gain and subsequently abuse recipients' trust.
Due to how widespread spam mail is – we highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection chain is jumpstarted. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We highly recommend being careful with incoming emails and other messages. The attachments or links present in dubious/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be virulent. It is important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.
However, keep in mind that malware is proliferated using various methods. Therefore, we advise downloading only from official and verified channels. Furthermore, software must be activated and updated using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updates may contain malware.
It is crucial to be vigilant when browsing since fake and dangerous online content usually appears ordinary and harmless.
We must emphasize the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security programs must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Please Find Attached My CV" spam email letter:
Subject: RE: REQUESTED CV
I am writting to express my strong interest in working for your company.
Please find attached my CV.
I will be highly thankful if you grant me the opportunity to appear for an interview.
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is "Please Find Attached My CV" malspam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why did I receive this email?
Cyber criminals distribute this mail in massive campaigns – hence, thousands of users receive identical emails.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you've provided account credentials – change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and contact their official support without delay. And if you have disclosed other private information (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) – immediately contact the appropriate authorities.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, merely opening/reading an email will not initiate any system infection processes. Devices are infected when a malicious attachment or link is opened/clicked.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
If the opened file was an executable – most likely, yes – your system was infected. However, you might have avoided an infection if it was a document (.doc, .pdf, .xls, etc.). These formats may require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to start downloading/installing malware.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate practically all known malware infections. It must be stressed that running a full system scan is paramount – since high-end malicious software usually hides deep within systems.
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