We have noticed that cyber-criminals are sending out thousands of fake email messages with an attached Zip or compressed file (a file with name ending with '.zip', '.rar', ".gz", or '.cab') that contains a virus or a Trojan horse. The files are sent in a compressed or Zip format to help prevent anti-virus software from detecting and deleting them. And, any attempt by the recipients to open the malicious attachment will result in their computers getting infected with a virus, Trojan horse or some other computer malware.
The cyber-criminals behind the fake and malicious emails, make them look convincing, by making the emails look as if they were sent from a legitimate company, family or friend, by using a technique called email spoofing.
Email spoofing allows someone to send an email message, and make that message appears as if it came from someone else.
I can send an email message from my personal email account to my friend, and make the email message appear as if it was sent from “president@whitehouse .gov”. This can be easily done by just changing the "From" address of the email message. So, it doesn't mean that an email message was sent from someone because their email address appears in the "From" address line of the message.
Now, because of this, unexpected email messages with a compressed or Zip file attached should never be opened, regardless of who they appear to have been sent from.
Also, click here for a list of email attachments that you should never open, regardless of who the email message appears to have been sent from.
Now, if you have received one of the fake email messages and have opened the malicious attachment, please do a full scan of your computer with the antivirus software installed on it. If you don’t have antivirus software installed on your computer, please click here for a list of free antivirus software.