Spam Carrying Trojan Viruses Hitting Everyone this Month
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Spam laden with trojan viruses are running high this month – primarily the Small.DAM Trojan – so be extra careful. The spam, masquerading as news flashes such as CNN updates and other news bulletins, carries compelling headlines such as death counts from storms battering Europe, or updates on Condoleeza Rice’s run-ins with foreign dignitaries.

The subject lines vary, but the Trojan payload remains the same: executable files surreptitiously installed on your computer, with file names such as “Full Story.exe”, “Full Text.exe”, “Full Video.exe”, “Video.exe”, “Full Clip.exe” or “Read More.exe”, or such.


Explains Graham Cluley of Sophos, “You think you’re reading a news report or you’re watching a movie. It’s the age-old technique that we’ve seen since the mid-1990s: Here’s something you want to look at. Look here!”

Unfortunately, it still works, and Cluley estimates that at least one in every 200 email messages worldwide includes this Trojan. That’s one out of ever 200 emails total, including all legitimate mail. Factor out legitimate email, and the percentage of spam carrying this Trojan is even higher. Factor in all other Trojans being delivered by spam and the odds start to get truly frightening.

Says Mikko Hypponen of F-Secure, “Trojan assaults of this scale are an unfortunate and increasingly common event.”

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The point here is, whenever you receive any email with any attachment, don’t open the attachment. Don’t even save it to your computer, unless you are sure that the attachment genuinely came from someone you know.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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4 thoughts on “Spam Carrying Trojan Viruses Hitting Everyone this Month
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  1. Actually, as someone who works regularly in tech support, you wouldn’t believe the calls we get. Most people aren’t “experienced computer users”, and those who are don’t need such simplistic cautions – but as a general rule, this is good advice. Especially as many viruses send themselves out as attachments “from” someone you know because they have compromised that person’s address book.

  2. Fortunately experienced computer users won’t take your recommendation (to not open any attachments) seriously. Otherwise they might as well stop using email altogether.
    I think it serves no useful purpose to overscare people. You should have said not to open executable files and told people waht the filename extensions for those are.

  3. Hi Anne,
    You say, “The point here is, whenever you receive any email with any attachment, don’t open the attachment. Don’t even save it to your computer.”

    Do your really mean that? What about a business associate sending me a document (e.g. a pdf file) and I’m aware of what he’s sending me and that he practices safe internet?

    Frank

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