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What swine: PC virus writers cash in on flu fears

In a computer virus meets human-avian-pig hybrid virus scenario, Symantec is warning about a new hacker scam that preys on worry about the possible swine flu pandemic.

The US security software maker says while samples are extremely limited, it seems that hackers are trying to leverage the current crisis to lure unsuspecting punters into clicking on their malware.

The company says it has analysed a malicious Adobe PDF document named “Swine influenza frequently asked questions.pdf” (see screen shot above).

When users attempt to access the PDF file, its viral code attempts to exploit an old Adobe Acrobat vulnerability in order to deliver a piece of malware called “infoStealer”.

Symantec detects the malicious PDF file as Bloodhound.Exploit.6 and the dropped malicious file contained in the PDF as InfoStealer.

As always, people are advised to avoid the threat by updating their antivirus software.

Symantec has also released a site that lists spammers taking advantage of the swine flu frenzy.

The company says spammer’s top 10 swine flu subject lines (which all mask email with the usual spammer promo marketing drivel and scams) are:

1. Swine flu in USA
2. Salma Hayek caught swine flu!
3. US swine flu statistics
4. Swine flu in Hollywood!
5. NY victims of swine flu
6. Swine flu worldwide!
7. Madonna caught swine flu!
8. First US swine flu victims!
9. Will swine flu attack USA?
10. US swine flu fears

More by Chris Keall