Beware the Obama in your inbox

November 8th, 2008 - 11:49 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaSan Francisco, Nov 8 (DPA) Obama fever may have swept the world following the Democratic presidential candidate’s historic election victory Tuesday. But now millions of computer users are under threat from an Obama virus, network security companies say.Authors of the virus are hoping to benefit from the huge interest in US president-elect Barack Obama, with an avalanche of spam messages purporting to offer news of his victory, the security firms said Friday.

The message offers the viewer a supposed link to a video of Obama’s acceptance speech. What it really does is direct users to a website that downloads a spy programme, which steals sensitive information from users’ computers.

This information can then be used to access online accounts, steal identities and falsify credit card transactions. The virus also incorporates the victim’s computer into a botnet - a network of computers programmed to perpetuate spam campaigns.

“The hackers are taking advantage of Obama-mania,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for SophosLabs.

“So many people have been excited or interested in (the election), that they might be susceptible to it. We hope people are beginning to learn not to click on these things.”

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