Inboxes are currently being hit by emails that claim that a request for leave has been approved. The emails list the proposed dates for the leave and include a company name. An attached .zip file supposedly contains more information about the leave application.
However, the emails are not genuine company notifications and the attachment does not contain a leave application document.
The .zip file contains a malicious .exe file that, if opened, can install malware on Windows based computers. Once installed, this malware may download even more malware and steal information such as account usernames and passwords.
Details, such as the name of the company supposedly granting the leave and the dates of the leave may vary in different versions of the malware emails.
The criminals responsible for this malware campaign know that at least a few recipients will likely open the attachment because they think that a mistake has been made and they are curious to find out more. Such simple social engineering tricks can be very effective.
If you receive one of these emails, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.
Subject: Application for Leave
Your request for MMMU-3C Leave for the period 30/10/15 to 30/10/15 returning to work on 02/11/15, has been APPROVED
Company: Charles Schwab Corp.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!