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Beware of Obama spam

E-mail directing users to watch "amazing speech" infects machines

By , Network World
November 05, 2008 04:01 PM ET

Network World - President-elect Barack Obama has prompted another landslide – this time in spam instead of votes.

On Wednesday, SophosLabs discovered a massive spam attack that stems from an e-mail offering news and a video clip from Obama's victory.

SophosLabs, a U.K.-based provider of antispam and antivirus software (compare Messaging Security products), says this piece of malware represents as much as 60% of the malicious spam that was recorded by their spam traps around the Web today. (Watch a slideshow of spammers in the slammer.)

The e-mails, which claim to come from news@president.com, have subject lines such as "Obama win preferred in world poll."

The e-mail prompts users to click on a link to watch his "amazing speech." If users download Adobe Flash Version 9 as prompted, they are infected with malicious code that allows their systems to be remotely controlled by hackers. The malicious code is a Trojan Horse dubbed Mal/Behav-027 by SophosLabs.

SophosLabs Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluley said in a blog post that "it's likely the cybercriminals behind this attack will rotate the malware being served up by this dangerous Web site…My guess is that this is far from the last example we will see of Barack Obama's name and image being abused by malware authors in their greed to infect Internet users."

Read more about security in Network World's Security section.

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