Valentine’s Day: a powerful lure for spreading malware

By | February 9, 2007

As Valentineґs Day approaches, users should keep a wary eye on any romantic messages received by email, as many of them could contain malicious code. The Nurech.A worm appeared earlier this week using this type of lure and has caused an “orange virus alert”. It still continues to spread and infect computers.

Nurech.A hides in emails with subjects like: “Together You and I”, “Til the End of Time Heart of Mine”. The name of the attached file carrying the malware is always an executable file and has names such as flash postcard.exe or greeting postcard.exe.

Other malicious codes currently infecting users include Nuwar.D. This worm arrives in messages with subjects like “5 reasons I love you” or “A kiss for you”.

Events like Valentine’s Day and Christmas are usually exploited by cyber-crooks to try and spread their creations by disguising infected emails as e-greeting cards. This tactic is known as ‘social engineering’. The best example is the infamous LoveLetter virus, which caused one of the biggest epidemics in computer history.

And it’s not just malware-infected emails that are on the prowl. With people buying Valentine’s gifts, there is an increase in online transactions and consequently an increased risk of bank details ending up in the hands of cyber-crooks. Much of the junk mail that reaches users´ accounts contains links to false banking or shopping websites, where users are requested to enter confidential information such as their account number and password; the classic ‘phishing’ routine.

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