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Scam E-mail Exploiting McDonalds’ Success, Downloads Virus

On December 16, 2008, security firm PandaLabs reported a new e-mail scam based on a holiday theme infecting people's systems with a computer virus. The e-mail seems as a special Christmas season offering from McDonalds in the form of unbelievable savings and free giveaways.

The e-mail says that recipients need to take out the print of an attached coupon and visit the local McDonalds restaurant to get the free consumption items and benefit from the awesome savings. But the security specialists state that if a user does everything as per the e-mail's instructions (downloads the attachment or tries to view it), he actually downloads a worm dubbed P2Pshared.U rather than the coupon. This worm then slowly infects that person's computer, making him/her vulnerable to malicious attacks.

Following the download, PandaLabs says that the virus plants itself on the user's computer and makes its own copies to various P2P file sharing software such as LimeWire, Morpheus and eMule, with names pertaining to image editing programs, program cracks and security software.

Thereafter, if any infected user attempts to install a P2P application, then the user infects his computer with another duplicate of the virus. And once it finds a place on the user's PC, the virus dispatches e-mails with the same look and title to other computers.

Moreover, to make a user to believe that he is getting the e-mail from a legitimate source and it is genuine, the address of the sender shows the "mcdonalds.com" domain as well as allows the recipient to select the country he is located in. Thus, both the tricks are meant to claim that the message is from McDonalds itself, security researchers at Panda Security said.

The researchers also said that McDonalds' recent announcement of a rise in international sales was as a consequence of the sudden increase in searches by consumers for a cost-effective deal. Thus, taking advantage of this news, cyber crooks have designed a campaign that tries to cash in on the success of the food outlet through an e-mail titled "McDonalds wishes you Merry Christmas!"

Related article: Sixem Worm Striking World Cup

» SPAMfighter News - 12/23/2008

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