Cybercriminals use Zika outbreak to spread malware

Cybercriminals use spam posing as a Brazilian health website to infect users with malware.
Cybercriminals use spam posing as a Brazilian health website to infect users with malware.

Researchers at Symantec spotted a malicious spam campaign seeking to capitalize on global interest in the Zika virus outbreak in South America.

The spam emails are written in Portuguese and claim to be from Saúde Curiosa (Curious Health), a health and wellness website in Brazil, according to a Feb. 18 blog post.

The subject of the email translates to “Zika Virus! That's Right, killing it with water!" and the body of the email contains buttons designed to capture the reader's attention with phrases like “Eliminating Mosquito! Click Here,” the post said.

The emails contain imagery and text taken from an article on the real Saúde Curiosa website as well as a malicious attachment.

Researchers said the buttons and attachments ultimately redirect the user to a JS.Downloader that will attempt to download additional malware after it compromises a victim's computer. 

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