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Florist Suffers From Incorrect Virus Warning

According to news reported by thisismoney on December 15, 2008, an online flower seller, Arena Flowers, says that it lost orders worth thousands of pounds because internet security major MessageLabs e-mailed a warning to Arena's customers telling them that Arena was distributing a computer virus.

The reports state that the November 2008 edition of Arena Flowers' monthly online newsletter sent to nearly 40,000 customers was incorrectly recognized as scam e-mail. While that was bad enough, MessageLabs created even more problems by giving an additional explanation intending to tell the customers that the florist was proliferating a PC virus, recognized as a PayPal phishing attempt. MessageLabs confirmed the name of the virus as Exploit/Phishing-paypal-1054".

The security specialists state that phishing is a crime wherein online miscreants attempt to capture sensitive information like users' bank details. Additionally, Arena Flowers' authorities said that it was entirely a misinterpretation by MessageLabs. While they shortly informed that the whole thing was an error, the florist said that they learnt their e-mail was hit because they put the name PayPal into the caption which they were not.

Moreover, Arena Flowers clarified that they used 'PayPal' in the e-mail caption only to inform customers that there was a £10k cash prize if they sent payment for an order with PayPal on the occasion of PayPal's tenth birthday.

According to Will Wynne, Managing Director of Arena Flowers in West London's Fulham, the company was receiving many calls from anxious buyers since the e-mail alert. Consequently, the total orders placed dropped at the rate of over 50% of the weekly mean, as reported by thisismoney on December 15, 2008.

He also stated that being an online business, it was necessary customers feel safe during transactions, but how could that be possible, if they got a warning that the company was distributing a virus?

However, according to MessageLabs, their anti-virus team spotted the e-mail as a phishing message because it contained a link to PayPal that didn't take to the PayPal site. But once MessageLabs was notified of the error, the company resolved the problem.

» SPAMfighter News - 12/24/2008

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