I have noticed over the last few weeks an increase in the number of fake messages which claim to come from the HMRC or Government Gateway and look at first glance quite realistic. They have a realistic return address such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, but also have an attachment which is zipped up, which is not something that the HMRC would send out.
That last Gateway Registration Form zip file unzips to an .exe (program file) – which when it is checked against 47 antivirus products online, only 1 product flags it as being a virus – so it is likely to be missed by most people if they are JUST relying on their security software to keep them safe.
You need to engage common sense and also use the website www.virustotal.com to double-check suspicious files and attachments if you suspect that your own antivirus software has not flagged this very suspicious attachment. Or delete the email and log into your HMRC account in the normal way to check the validity of the message.
Be on your guard, and if you or someone in your office does click on the links, then let us know, as you might have infected your machine. We also can recommend and help implement anti-virus and anti-spam solutions here at Silicon Bullet.