Spam campaign targets GPs

An email designed to entice private fund managers’ interest would install malware if opened.

Fund managers should be cautious of any email with the subject line “Carried Interest fees”. 

A targeted spam campaign that takes advantage of GPs’ interest in carry fees to install malicious software has been identified by research security firm Baraccuda labs. Carried interest has been a hot topic as of late as President Obama continues to push for higher carry tax rates only to have his proposals lose steam in a divided Congress. 

The spam email, which looks as if it had been forwarded twice, tries to build trust by using the name of a well-known chief financial officer of a large US private equity firm. 

The email includes an attachment entitled “Quarter2012_8k_fees_NYSE.exe” that when opened provides details on a somewhat related US Securities and Exchange Commission large trader rule. Meanwhile in the background the programme is installing a keylogger which captures keystrokes and loads them to a remote server controlled by spammers. 

“Never trust an attachment sent to you in email, even if the source appears reputable,” said Baraccuda in a blog post, adding the attachment should first be saved to a disk and then sent to a virus scanning programme.