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Fake Companies House Emails Contain Malware

Emails purporting to be from the UK government's Companies House claim that a company complaint has been submitted against the recipient. The emails claim that more information can be viewed by opening an attached file.

Virus concept

© Oleksii Milaiev

Brief Analysis
The emails are not from Companies House. The attached files contain malware.

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This message has been generated in response to the company complaint
submitted to Companies House WebFiling service.

(CC01) Company Complaint for the above company was accepted on 06/09/2013.

The submission number is NIMXA1ZGK638SOL

Please quote this number in any communications with Companies House.

All WebFiled documents are available to view / download for 10 days
after their original submission. However it is not possible to view
copies of accounts that were downloaded as templates.

Not yet filing your accounts online? See how easy it is...

Note: reference to company may also include Limited Liability Partnership(s).

Thank you for using the Companies House WebFiling service.

Service Desk tel +44 (0)303 1234 500 or email [email protected]

Note: This email was sent from a notification-only email address

which cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply directly to this message.

Detailed Analysis

The name of UK Government department Companies House is currently being used in a malware campaign. Emails purporting to be from Companies House are claiming that a company complaint has been levelled against the recipient.

The emails claim that recipients can view more details by opening an attached file. However, the attachment contains a malicious .exe file held inside a .zip file. Opening the attached file can install malware on the user's computer.

Companies House has published the following warning about the malware attack:
We have been made aware that random emails claiming to be from Companies House are being sent. These mails have NOT been generated by Companies House and we strongly advise you not to open any attachments or click any suspicious links within the email, as it may contain a virus. Our customers should be assured that the details we hold have not been compromised.

This campaign is reminiscent of earlier malware attacks that claimed that the Better Business Bureau had received a complaint about the recipient. Again, attachments with the emails contained malware.

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Last updated: September 11, 2013
First published: September 11, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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