Michael Jackson suicide spam links to malware

Security experts at UK firm Sophos are warning of a spam email that claims to have news of a suicide attempt by pop star Michael Jackson.

They say that the email directs recipients to a website for more information. If a victim visits the site, they are told that the site is busy. But in the background, the website triggers a download that places code for a Trojan horse on the PC.

The malicious code allows the infected PC to be used as a proxy through which spam mail can be sent by a remote user. It also connects to IRC channels through which it can receive commands or further malicious code can be installed.

‘The sick minds behind viruses and other malware often exploit celebrity names and news stories in an attempt to infect as many people as possible,’ said Carole Theriault, security consultant for Sophos. ‘All computer users should be very careful about clicking on weblinks in unsolicited email or launching unknown attachments.’

The email contains the following text: ‘Last night, while in his Neverland Ranch, Michael Jackson has made a suicidal attempt. They suggest this attempt follows the last claim was made against the king of pop. 46 years old Michael has left pre-suicid note which describes and interpretes some of his sins. Read more…’, and arrives with the subject: ‘Re: Suicidal aattempt’.

For more information, visit the Sophos website.

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