Windows e-mail virus is trying to ensnare victims
by claiming that Michael Jackson has attempted suicide, say computer
The message hopes to catch people's attention because of the huge
interest in the on-going child abuse trial.
The fake message contains a web link that supposedly links to Mr
Jackson's suicide note.
But anyone clicking on the link will have their PC invaded by a virus
that gives others access to that machine.
The message was first discovered early on 10 June and already
anti-virus companies have seen many copies of the e-mail circulating
Like many recent Windows viruses the malicious message does not use a
technical trick or loophole to infect machines. Instead it relies on
tricking users into infecting themselves.
The badly-spelled message - its subject line is "Suicidal
attempt" - claims that the suicide attempt was in reaction to the
stress of the trial. A verdict is due in the case soon.
Those who click on the link in the fake e-mail to see the supposed
suicide note will get a message suggesting that the site hosting it is
"That may not surprise people who think it might contain genuine
breaking news about Michael Jackson," said Carole Theriault,
security consultant for security firm Sophos.
Do not click
Ms Theriault said the busy message is a diversionary tactic because,
unseen, a virus is being downloaded on to a user's machine.
The virus downloaded is a variant of the Borobt-Gen trojan which
gives the virus' creator a backdoor into infected machines.
"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 Ms Theriault.
She urged users to be wary of clicking on links or opening
attachments in unsolicited e-mail messages.