Cybercriminals are always trying to find new ways to steal, kidnap and damage via the internet. One widely used tactic is disguise malicious software as an email attachment. By now, most people know that certain file types, such as .exe are dangerous to open when attached to an email. However, recent news about Microsoft illustrates that any file attachment, including .docx can be suspicious, and that the cyberthreat landscape is constantly changing.
Are all email attachments suspicious?
No. The attachments that you receive from people who you know and routinely communicate cannot be hijacked and infused with malware. Cybercriminals can, however, try to “spoof” the email address of someone you know in order to entice you to open it. When an email is spoofed, it disguises its true sender, making it look like it is from someone you know.
Can you stop malicious emails with attachments?
Yes. When you have a robust spam filter in your layers of cybersecurity, the probability of receiving a spoofed email or one containing a malicious attachment is very low. However, users should always be wary of emails from unknown senders, and make it a practice to avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments without verifying the authenticity of the message.
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