Thursday, August 04, 2005

Malware exploits deaths of U.S. Marines

Image source: Sophos Plc.

Jack Kapica writes in The Globe and Mail:

A new widespread spam-based virus has security experts at Sophos Labs worried that many people might fall for it.

The spam poses as a breaking news report from The Associated Press about the deaths of U.S. Marines in Iraq. The e-mail contains a link that infects a user's computer with a Trojan horse program, leaving the machine vulnerable to attackers.

The subject lines used in the malicious e-mails contain intentionally misspelled words, and usually read something like "140 died," "140 US marines kiiIled," or "Iraq Bommbing." It also purports to come from a variety of e-mail addresses.

Security experts at Sophos Labs, based in Lynnfield, Mass., say the people behind the e-mail campaign are using the AP name as a novel social-engineering method, attempting to sound legitimate while including the malicious software, and are using software to deliberately obfuscate and misspell the subject lines in an attempt to avoid simple anti-spam filters.


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