News Analysis

Scam FBI email carries Sober virus

A mass email, purportedly from law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, is circulating, carrying with it an attachment containing the Sober virus.

 

The email tells online users that either the FBI or the NHTCU have monitored their internet use, and that they have accessed illegal websites. It directs recipients to open an attachment and answer questions. This triggers the virus, which then sends itself to any email addresses found on the hard drive.

 

According to security specialist McAfee in Australia , more than 90% of all virus-laden emails contained a copy of Sober, which was generating around 15 million out of 16.8 million virus-infected emails. MessageLabs too said it had intercepted over 2.7 million copies of the virus.

 

Such emails are becoming more and more sophisticated, and incorporate social engineering. There are many who will have opened this attachment out of genuine interest or concern that law enforcement had been monitoring their net usage.

 

It’s easy to say “Don’t open it” but it’s not quite so easy to do.


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