What Is a Malicious Attachment?

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What is Malicious Attachment

What Is Malicious Attachment?

Malicious Attachment Definition

Short definition: An attached file that is a virus or other malware.

Extended definition:

A malicious attachment is the type of file that is attached to a communication platform, like chat, or email and used to infect a victim with different types of viruses. Usually, malicious attachments often get sent to victims via email, but there have been a number of cases where they are also noticed in messengers, like Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook messenger, Instagram and many other platforms. These attachments often aim to be a clickbait. This includes pretending to be some important documents or other kinds files that could grab the victims attention and get him to download and run the file, resulting in a virus infection.

The most often used files, which malicious attachments could imitate are the following types:

  • Invoices.
  • E-Tickets for events or flights.
  • Work-related files.
  • Receipts.
  • Photos.
  • Videos.
  • Archives.
  • Fake e-signatures.
  • All kinds of document file types.

The malicious attachments are often masked from antivirus programs by the so-called obfuscation software. This software is designed to make the infection process hidden and the victim does not notice how it happens. Often, malicious attachments are embedded in malicious macros that are added to Microsoft Office documents. The way it works is often the victim opens the document and clicks on “Enable Editing”, after which infection takes place.

For more definitions, check our Cyber Dictionary.

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