How scammers will con you into clicking malicious .exe files
Experts have advised people not to open any exe file without care for a long time. Cyber crooks use many avenues to trick you into downloading and executing a binary file. Here is how they do it:
The hide known file method
Windows give options to hide extensions for common files types by default. They install a long program to tackle a specific file extension, but the system will not display the extension. For example, a file name like name.jpg.exe will appear like name.jpg. The JPG on the second name appears to be the real extension file extension and not exe. The system will still execute such files as an .exe file.
The shortcut method
It involves the creation of a shortcut to a malicious file. The shortcut can take any name and any extension. The system will address the malicious shortcuts as exe files despite the kind of extensions added to them.
The RTLO method
In files with names like AI[RTLO]gpj.exe, the [RTLO] is an invisible character that will force characters to align from right to left. They will appear as Alexe.jpg, where the JPG will appear as a genuine file extension. The windows explorer will treat this file as an executable file.
Aligning certain extensions to file types is a way to set some values in the registry or interface. It makes the files get treated as files with different extensions. For example, by double-clicking on a JPG file, the system executes it like an application rather than sending the photo viewer installed on your machine. A hacker only takes a virus to change the EXE to JPG then sends it to the compromised machine for viewing. Your machine treats such files as regular exe files.