January 24th, 2005, 08:00 PM
Computer worm exploits tsunami to spread virus
JANUARY 18, 2005 (REUTERS) - A mass e-mail appearing to be a plea for aid to help the victims of last month's Asian tsunami disaster is actually a vehicle for spreading a computer virus, Web security firm Sophos PLC said yesterday.
The worm appears with the subject line "Tsunami donation! Please help!" and invites recipients to open an attachment called tsunami.exe -- which, if opened, will forward the virus to other Internet users.
It could also initiate a denial-of-service attack, Sophos said, in which a German hacking Web site's server would be bombarded with messages, putting it out of action. "Duping innocent users into believing that they may be helping the tsunami disaster aid efforts shows hackers stooping to a new low," Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley said in a statement.
Sophos has so far received only a small number of reports of the worm, which it said is not the first to try to take advantage of the Indian Ocean catastrophe in order to spread a virus. Another worm earlier this month propagated the message that the tsunami was God's revenge on "people who did bad on earth."
There have also been a number of mass e-mails sent out in an attempt to steal money, many of them versions of the so-called Nigerian letter scam, to which readers are invited to reply with personal information, apparently in order to help transfer large sums of money and receive a cut themselves.
One appears to be from a wealthy Thai merchant suffering from a fatal disease, who has lost his family in the tsunami disaster and needs someone to collect millions of U.S. dollars from a European security firm to distribute it to charities. "I need a God-fearing and trustworthy person that will be able to travel to Europe, to collect this deposit from the security company," the mail reads.
Sophos recommends that recipients delete the e-mails and not open the attachments
Any Comments, comrades?
January 24th, 2005, 08:45 PM
Yes. Use ye ol' search page. http://www.antionline.com/showthread...hlight=tsunami
It's not surprising. Scammers, spammers, virus makers, oh my. They take advantage of anyone as long as the saying stays true: "There's one born every minute.."