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.