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E-mail Posing from a Long-lost Friend could be a Trojan

As social networking sites are becoming popular and boosting online friendships, cyber criminals are exploiting this by pretending to be an old school friend of the e-mail recipient and in the process, infect computers with malware, warns Sophos.

Lonely surfers or simply curious people might feel like clicking the link, but when they do, they may expose themselves to hackers, said Senior Technology Consultant for Sophos, Graham Cluley. Infozine published this in news on October 5, 2007.

Cluley added that cyber criminals don't need anything more than a picture of a woman with blonde hair tied in pigtails to capture unwary users' passwords, and this represented a rather pitiful situation.

He continued by saying that people should use their brains to think rather than their loins. Hackers' use of attractive women to infect unwitting users is not a new tactic, but surprisingly, it keeps repeating from time to time.

The fraudulent e-mail claims to be from a woman named Ann Berns saying she was a high schoolmate of the recipient. The e-mail sender then writes nostalgically about the classroom conversations and after-school strolls to try and encourage the reader to go further and click on an embedded link.

When the recipient clicks the link that connects to Ann Berns' personal Web page, he/she gets infected with a Trojan horse crafted to hack the person's online account and his/her identification details.

Cluley warned Internet users to be more careful about unsolicited e-mails, and make sure that proper defenses are in place when they surf the Web or open their mailbox.

Sophos has identified the malware as a new version of Mal/Behav-121. It recommends users to defend themselves from the new threat by updating all protection systems.

Earlier in the first week of October 2007, Sophos had cautioned that cyber-tricksters were enticing users by inciting curiosity in them to click on an attachment that claimed to show nude pictures of beautiful celebrities like Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie. But instead of photos, it downloaded a Trojan on the recipients' computers.

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

» SPAMfighter News - 18-10-2007

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