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Michael Jackson suicide spam leads to Trojan horse.

Sophos's are warning of a spam campaign that claims Michael Jackson has attempted suicide in an bid to lure innocent computer users into being infected by a Trojan horse. Sophos has identified hundreds of the spam messages being sent, preying on intense media interest in the trial of the controversial popstar. The spam emails arrive with the subject: 'Re: Suicidal attempt' and the message 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-suicide note which describes and interpretes some of his sins. Read more ...'

However, when users click on the link they are token to a website which secretly installs malicious code onto their PCs. "If yon click on the link, the website displays a message saying it is too busy, which may not surprise people who think it might contain genuine breaking news about Michael Jackson," said Sophos.

"However, this is a diversionary tactic--because behind the scenes the website is downloading malware onto the user's computer without their knowledge." Sophos have analysed the code downloaded by clicking on the link, and determined that it attempts to download another Trojan horse which Sophos detects as Troj/Borobt-Gen.

Sophos notes that this is not the first time that the troubled pop star has been exploited by virus writers and hackers attempting to spread their malware. In October 2004, messages were posted on the internet claiming that incriminating home videos belonging to Jackson had been discovered--but clicking on the link infected web surfers with the Hackarmy Trojan horse.

Sophus recommends companies automatically update their corporate virus protection, and filter attachments which may contain malicious code at the email gateway with a consolidated solution to defend against viruses and spam. More information can be found at: www.sophos.com/virusinfo/analyses/ trojborobtgen.html
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Publication:Database and Network Journal
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 1, 2005
Words:318
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