I often have to explain targeted attacks to people, but having examples makes the task much easier. To that end, our friends over at F-Secure have put together a collection screen shots of various “bait” files — files that when you open them, infect your system. Take a look here.
It’s this kind of targeted attack that was used in Ghostnet, which infected quite a few prominent institutions and agencies.
To protect themselves, many organizations license our CWSandbox software, specifically to analyze large quantities of files before they enter the network, to see if they’re malicious or not (you can test files yourself through our free interface).