Don’t be fooled if you receive an email masquerading as a job application. The email contains a fraudulent resume that can infect your computer.
Targeting HR professionals, the email comes from a large number of different compromised email accounts, with unique sender names and a variety of subject lines, making it difficult to spot.
This is a large-scale run of scam emails, which MailGuard has been intercepting over the past week and a half.
The body of the emails is simple, informing recipients that the sender is interested in applying for a job vacancy, or more specifically that they are ‘interested in a position.’ The email also includes a password-protected resume and contains a password to access the resume.
Unsuspecting recipients who attempt to access the resume by entering the password end up initiating the download of a malicious payload.
The large number of different sender names and different subject lines, makes this scam a challenge for anyone that is currently recruiting, or reviewing resumes. Here are a few examples of the various subject lines cybercriminals have used for this email scam:
What to look out for
Some tell-tale signs to look out for include:
The use of a password to trigger the download of the malicious payload. This makes it harder for email filtering services to access the payload directly. Hence, it is less likely that the email will be classified as a scam.
Recipients should also look for job application emails that are not specific about the nature of the desired role, simply stating that the applicant has attached their resume and is ‘interested in a position.’
The above email scam is a great example of how cybercriminals can leverage routine business correspondence to trick unsuspecting recipients. Even if a potential victim doesn’t recognise the sender details, they might conceivably download the file to satisfy their curiosity.
Commenting on the scam, Craig McDonald, CEO & Founder of MailGuard, an Australian cybersecurity firm said;
“This is a very subtle, and insidious email scam. I sympathise with HR professionals who are trying to sift through resumes, hoping not to download something malicious.”
“Embedding the download of malware files in a password-protected .doc is nothing new, but disguising those files as resumes makes them very hard to detect. Cybercriminals are proving to be more persistent, more cunning and better organised than ever before.”
“Targeted HR professionals, this email scam reminds us of the importance of being cyber aware regardless of our professional backgrounds and interests. Anyone can be a target of cybercrime anywhere.”