Definition: Attachments are digital files that typically arrive with email correspondence. Some are graphic-images, others are word processing documents, spreadsheet files or database reports. Receiving and opening files that are affixed to email can be very risky to an organization’s information system or individual computer owner. A simple email that arrives with additional files can be a major threat vector. A full array of malicious software can be unleashed. An organization must have policies that prohibit opening suspicious attachments or programs that arrive with email.
It’s Relevance: Messages that arrive with malware or executable files may be capable of causing significant damage. Viruses, Trojan horses, key-loggers and more are all basic programs that can be executed. Your computer can run an “executable file” that arrives accompanying email merely by opening the file. The payload is launched and significant damage could occur.