Email worm spreads under guise of Valentine's Day greetings

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Valentine's Day may still be nearly three weeks away, but spammers already are sending a not-so-loving email to inboxes worldwide.

Cybercriminals behind the Waledac worm, distributed last week in exploits related to the presidential inauguration, have modified their tactics and are now sending out Valentine's Day-related malicious spam that is leading to the malware, Ryan Sherstobitoff, chief corporate evangelist at Panda Security, told SCMagazineUS.com Tuesday.

The spam arrives with the subject line: “love before Saint Valentine's day." The body contains a link for a malicious website. If the users follow the link, they are taken to a page with a picture of 12 different hearts, above which reads, “Guess, which one is for you.” If victims click, they will download the worm.

Once users are infected, their machines become part of a botnet that is used to send out other spam. The worm then spreads by sending the messages to all contacts in the user's address book, Sherstobitoff said.

The worm also may seek to steal sensitive data, although there is no proof of that yet, he said.

Last week, users were being lured to a number of malicious sites though spammed emails. The site looked like President Obama's official homepage but contained bogus news stories such as “There is no president in the USA anymore.”  Clicking on one of the links would download the Waledac worm.

“What they want to do here is essentially infect many people, so they're going to change tactics to be as effective as possible,” Sherstobitoff said.


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