Spammers scam child protection group to propagate trojan

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Emails that appear sent by an anti-child pornography nonprofit group - but in fact are being delivered by spammers - are trying to use scare tactics to get unsuspecting recipients to download a trojan, a security firm warned today.

The spam claims the recipient's email address was discovered in a "child porn database" discovered by the Los Angeles-based Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP). In the message, the writer tells the recipients that the only way he will know the recipient is not a child porn offender is if they show "good will" and make a donation to the ASACP.

In a statement on its site, the ASACP assures users the bogus emails are not being sent by the organization and promises people a refund if they made a donation as a result of "duress" from receiving the email.

Anti-virus vendor Sophos warned today that unknowing users could panic and download the trojan - which poses as an attached file - while thinking they are making a donation to the non-profit group.

"ASACP is a target for certain criminal organizations and individuals who would like nothing better than to hinder our operations," the statement said. "This appears to have been written by someone with the purpose of discrediting ASACP and the work we do.
Unfortunately, there is very little that can be done to prevent these types of cyber attacks."

 Click here to email reporter Dan Kaplan.

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