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Hackers Exploit ESPN Reporter’s Controversial Tape to Spread Virus

Security firm Sophos has disclosed that a computer virus is being spread using the alleged tape of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews that was made while she was undressing in her hotel room.

The illegal video was released on the web in the third week of July 2009. Hackers took no time to take the advantage of this much Googled video download. They designed several webpages claiming of having link to the controversial video. But in reality, the link to the video introduces a virus into the user's PC.

Expressing his views, senior security researcher at Sophos, Graham Cluley, stated that hackers are experts as far as taking advantage of one of the most popular search trends on the Internet is concerned, reported Daily News on July 20, 2009. He added that they were so quick to come up with fake webpages asserting to contain the link to the video.

According to the security firm, one of the versions of this virus attack tricks the users to click on look-alike CNN version of the reporter's video footage. As soon as the users select the play option, a pop-up window appears which warns that the popup blocker in their system has blocked the video player window and suggests them to bring another player in place. Surprisingly, it plays some segment of the controversial video when the user clicks the harmful link, but on the same side, it installs a Trojan program on the user's PC that enables the hackers to attack the system at any later point of time.

Security researchers at Sophos claim that both Windows as well as Apple are susceptible to this virus attack. In fact, they said that Mac users are particularly prone to this attack as most of them appear to adopt a lethargic attitude to virus problem.

Sophos has identified the malware as OSX/Jahlav-C Trojan horse on the Apple Mac platform while on a Windows system, it has been identified as Mal/EncPk-IF on some occasions and as a rogue antivirus software Mal/FakeAV-AY on the other occasions.

Thus, the security experts have advised people not to visit any site that claims to contain the controversial video footage. Moreover, they should provide their systems the security of updated versions of antivirus software.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

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