Hackers cash in on Jackson trial

Spammers are cashing in on media coverage of the Michael Jackson trial with a mail claiming the singer has attempted suicide.

Users who click on a link supplied within the mail will find their computers infected by a trojan virus (Borobot-gen).

"If you click on the link, the website displays a message saying it is too busy, which may not surprise people who think it might contain genuine breaking news about Michael Jackson," said Carole Theriault, security consultant at Sophos. "However, this is a diversionary tactic - because behind the scenes the website is downloading malware onto the user's computer without their knowledge."

The spam campaign is the latest in a long line of celebrity related emails intended to fool users into downloading malware onto their computer.

"Spam is a continuing arms race," said Mark Herbert, chief technology officer at IT security company IntY. "This particular email was launched at one of the rare times when news about the Michael Jackson trial had gone very quiet [while the jury were deliberating] and there would be little to refute the suicide claims. It's a precision strike, and likely to be very effective."

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