Broken English email can lead to an infected PC

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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@[email protected]
@gcluley

We’ve been seeing a fair number of emails in our traps today, written in rather poor English:

Hello, you remember me? We with you had a rest, here about which I told photos to you, see attach zip file

Greetings malicious email

Attached to the email (which has the subject line “Greetings”) is a file called document.zip.

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If you’re a regular reader of the Clu-blog then you should know the drill by now. It would be risky to open the email attachment as it’s bound to contain malware, right?

Bingo. You got it. In this case Sophos identifies the Trojan threat as Mal/EncPk-LE or Troj/ZipMal-F.

But there are some folks out there, some of whom may be friends or business colleagues of yours, who don’t have your Peter Parker-style spider-sense and don’t have alarm bells ringing in their head when an unsolicited attachment arrives accompanied by some glaring grammatical errors.

Indeed, they might find the broken use of English endearing and compelling evidence that the message could be from an exotic stranger to your shores.

And that’s one of the reasons why it’s such a good idea to have all of your email systems, web gateways and desktop computers protected by anti-spam and anti-virus software. Sometimes your spider-sense will let you down when you need it most.


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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