Trojan poses as spam-hating screensaver

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A trojan posing as Lycos’ “Make Love Not Spam” screensaver is threatening computers, it has been revealed. The news, the latest in the Lycos’ vigilante saga, will come as a further blow to the company after being lambasted by various industry pundits for it’s anti-spam efforts.

Finnish anti-virus firm F-Secure has reported an email attachment that promises to be the "Make Love Not Spam" screensaver is actually a keylogger trojan.

Earlier today (Monday) we reported Lycos had removed the screensaver completely and issued a message, subsequently withdrawn, that the exercise had fulfilled its aims.

"With this campaign we intended to raise a new impulse in the anti-spam discussion and therefore create awareness for the big economical and societal problems caused by spam. The campaign has reached its goal and thus will be stopped," the statement said. Lycos also indicated a study by Netcraft had wrongly claimed the screensaver had shut down two spamming websites.

Netcraft has now said the problem was a misunderstanding created by a list of websites Lycos claimed it was attacking. Because there were no dates Netcraft studied spamming sites on days they were not actually being attacked by Lycos screensavers. So when Netcraft said the sites were down, it was probably not due to "Make Love Not Spam."

"We were monitoring the sites on different days to which they were attacking them," said Paul Mutton, internet services developer at Netcraft. He suggested it was inevitable the site shut-down. "A lot of people think fighting fire with fire is not a good idea. With ISPs black-holing the website, believing it to be in breach of internet protocol, it had to be shut-down," Mutton said.

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