The spam messages have the subject line: “We have hijacked your baby” and ask for a $50,000 reward in return for the child's safe return, according security firm Sophos.
There is also an attachment, "photo.zip" claiming to be a picture of the child, which in fact hosts the trojan. The malicious software will download malware once this file is opened.
“Receiving or reading these widespread emails themselves does not mean you are infected, but if users open the attachment they will be infecting their Windows computer, they will give hackers an open door to take control and steal information,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.
“There's no other way of putting it -- this attack is sick. Hackers have no qualms about exploiting a family's natural instinct to defend its most vulnerable members,” he added.