If you are job hunting, there’s a critical warning you need to know about: cybercriminals are using job-related scams to trick people into downloading dangerous software called WARMCOOKIE.

What’s Happening?

Scammers are sending fake emails pretending to be from well-known recruitment firms like Adecco, Michael Page, Manpower and Hays. According to cybersecurity researchers at Elasticsearch B.V., these emails invite you to click a link to learn more about a job opportunity. But if you click the link, you’ll be asked to complete a CAPTCHA challenge and download a document. This document contains a harmful script that installs the WARMCOOKIE backdoor on your computer.


WARMCOOKIE is a type of malicious software, or malware, that sneaks into your computer and opens a pathway for cybercriminals to explore your system. Once inside, it can:

  • Gather information about your computer
  • Take screenshots
  • Install more harmful software

How Does the Scam Work?

  1. Phishing Email: You receive an email that looks like it’s from a legitimate recruitment firm.
  2. Malicious Link: The email contains a link to a supposed job opportunity.
  3. CAPTCHA Challenge: After clicking the link, you are asked to complete a CAPTCHA and download a file.
  4. Hidden Malware: The downloaded file contains a script that installs WARMCOOKIE on your computer using a hidden process.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Be Suspicious of Unexpected Emails: If you receive an unsolicited email about a job, verify it by contacting the company directly.
  • Check Email Addresses Carefully: Look for slight changes in email addresses that might indicate a fake.
  • Avoid Clicking Links in Emails: Instead, go to the company’s website directly by typing the web address into your browser.
  • Do Not Download Unverified Files: Be very cautious about downloading files from emails, especially if you weren’t expecting them.
  • Use Reliable Job Search Websites: Stick to well-known job platforms and be cautious about offers from unfamiliar sources.

What to Do if You Think You’ve Been Targeted

  • Do Not Engage: Don’t click on any links or download any files from suspicious emails.
  • Report the Email: Notify the company that supposedly sent the email and report the phishing attempt to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • Check Your System: If you think you might have downloaded a harmful file, run a full system scan with your antivirus software.
  • Protect Your Information: If you’ve shared personal information, consider changing your passwords and monitoring your accounts for unusual activity.

Stay Safe While Job Hunting

Job hunting can be stressful, and scammers are trying to exploit that. By staying informed and cautious, you can protect yourself from falling victim to these phishing scams. Stay alert and safeguard your personal information.

Facebook Comments

Categorized in: