What Are the Most Common Malicious Email Attachments

There are many threats that we can receive when surfing the Internet. Many types of viruses that in one way or another can compromise our systems. However, we also have a large number of tools and functions that we can use to protect ourselves. In this article we are going to talk about the main malicious attachments that we can receive by email.

Email, widely used by hackers

Among all the options that cybercriminals use to attack their victims, we can highlight email . As we know, e-mail is a widely used means of communication. It allows us to be in contact with friends and family, send documents or store a wide variety of information. However it is also used to attack.

Most Common Malicious Email Attachments

Hackers make use of this type of service to steal passwords, infect computers, collect information from victims … They use a wide variety of methods such as Phishing, for example. But they also send malicious attachments, configured to steal information or compromise computers.

We will talk about this in this article. We are going to show which types of files are the most used for this purpose. The objective is to be alert and not to make mistakes in case we receive any. Keep in mind that sometimes simply by opening a file of this type our information may be exposed or our system may become infected.

Attachments most used by hackers

It is true that emails have increasingly better filters to avoid this type of email. However, it is always possible that one can sneak in and end up in our inbox.

Fake invoices

Undoubtedly one of the most common types of attachments that we receive by email are false invoices . We receive an email indicating that we already have our latest mobile, electricity or Internet bill available. It can also be the supposed invoice for an order that we have made by Amazon or similar, as well as something that we have to collect or pay for.

The normal thing is that it is a text file where we will find the information related to that invoice. They ask us to open it and that is where the problem lies. They may ask us to enable macros to be able to see the content, but this means that our computer could be infected by that file.

Comprobar seguridad en un PDF o imagen

Discount coupons

It is also very common to receive supposed discount coupons . Here the range of possibilities is very wide. They generally use well-known brands, such as food restaurants, clothing stores, supermarkets …

They attach a file or an image where a supposed discount code appears that we could use to save on the future purchase that we are going to make. The problem, once again, is that it is a scam.

Excel or PDF with information

This is a classic too. We receive a PDF or Excel file with alleged information related to a topic. An example is everything related to the Covid-19 pandemic. They can send some kind of important data, policy change or any information.

The goal, as in previous cases, is for the victim to open those files. By doing so, they are downloading malware onto the system and enabling them to execute actions that compromise us.

Emails that impersonate a legitimate company

This is certainly also very typical. We received an email from a supposedly legitimate company. They tell us that we have an information file that we must open to obtain some type of data or response.

Here we can find Word files , images, PDF … A wide variety of options that will always have the objective of infecting our computers.


Yet another trick is to use a supposed prize . They send us an email to tell us that something has happened to us and we see an attachment to fill in our data so that they can send us what we have won.

However, what they seek is to collect information. Obtain our real data to include us in spam lists or even make us download some malicious software.

Ultimately, it is very important to be aware of the danger of email attachments. We must always keep common sense in mind and not open or download files that we cannot fully trust.