HMRC phishing campaign hits UK businesses

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HMRC letterhead with pound notes and coins lying on topNot unnaturally, people greet any correspondence from HMRC that drops into their inbox with a slight feeling of dread. Until recently it has generally involved nothing more than a request to pay owed tax. Now, however, it could be something a bit more insidious – a Trojan that gives hackers complete control over the recipient’s computer.

Hackers have been distributing the JRat Trojan, which is available from the digital black market at a knock-down price of £22, via a phishing attack. The email, which aims to coerce victims into downloading malware, masquerades as a VAT document. The bogus HMRC message circulated at a time when many UK companies needed to submit their tax returns.

While it’s not yet known whether any companies have fallen victim to this scam, they are advised to be on the alert – especially during the periods when tax returns are due in.