Zeus is back with terrorism-themed spam run

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Trojan-laden emails claiming to offer official terrorism information have been hitting inboxes, researchers at Sophos warned Friday.

The emails are spoofed to look like they originate from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Pentagon or Transportation Security Administration, Savio Lau, a SophosLabs Canada researcher, said in a blog post. Subject lines include "For Official Use Only" and "RE: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula."

Some of the emails claim to include information about terrorist attack methods used in airport terminals. Others reference a U.S. Air Force study on defending cyberspace.

Users are encouraged to click on two links, supposedly leading to reports, but which are actually ZIP files containing the insidious Zeus, or Zbot, trojan.

So far, the attack has not been widespread, researchers said.

"Unlike some of the other Zbot runs we've seen, this current run is relatively low volume," Lau wrote. "Nevertheless, this trickery by the Zbot crew is not new."

Users should be wary of clicking on links or attachments contained in emails they were not expecting.

"Even if you do work for one of these agencies, there should be no reason you would be receiving weblink reports in this fashion," Lau wrote. "Users should have no trouble avoiding these spam campaigns as long as they remain vigilant."

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