E-card Spam Infecting Carolina Computers, Warns AG

A warning from North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper cautions residents about e-greeting cards, possibly containing spyware and viruses capable of infecting computer systems and stealing users' identities. Scammers are using friendly looking electronic greeting cards to attack recipients and capture personal information from their PCs.

Recipients who open the greeting cards could download spyware or viruses onto their systems that could potentially damage their hard drive or lead to identity theft, warned AG Roy Cooper. Newsobserver released this in news on August 23, 2007.

Cooper and other members of his office have been receiving cards they think to follow from an expanding business of e-card spam scams. The cards typically pretend to be from a family member or friend, but ask the recipient to click on an embedded link to view the card. However, instead of displaying the card, a virus, spyware, or adware infects the user's computer. The downloaded virus could halt the computer, while the adware flood it with pop-up ads or even hunt the e-mail address list to send e-mails ads to them too.

However, the most severe threat is from spyware programs designed to gather personal information from the user's computer. Sometimes, these programs monitor the user's keystrokes, giving online thieves access to his bank account information.

Cooper offers some tips to avoid becoming victim to e-card scams. Recipients should be wary of cards that a class called "friends" sends. The genuine e-cards require the senders to write their names. The recipients should not click links or download attachments unless they are definite about the sender. They should deploy protective measures like anti-spyware and anti-virus software. They should understand the meanings in between the lines before agreeing to the agreement terms while downloading programs. They should run spyware and virus scans if they inadvertently open a dubious e-card, and simultaneously alert friends should they receive the same card.

Sophos has observed a revival of e-card spam recently in the third week of August 2007. The company noted that the spam infects computers with the JSEcard-A Trojan, and it consisted of 6.3% of total spam in Sophos' spam traps.

Related article: E-Crime Reporting Format To Be Launched in July

» SPAMfighter News - 9/11/2007

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