Hackers disguise malicious email attack as news from MSNBC

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The hacking gang who have been bombarding internet users inboxes worldwide with dangerous emails claiming to be breaking news from CNN, have changed their disguise.

Theyve shrugged off their CNN gabardine suit and put on a fur-lined MSNBC jacket instead.

Here is a typical example, claiming that Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor has been found murdered:

Other subject lines used in the widely-spammed email campaign include:

msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: McCain told lies to win votes
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Anthrax case solved
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Preliminary polls for the election
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Google launches free music downloads in China
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Jerry Yang relinquishes control over Yahoo
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Apple September show highly anticipated
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: High calorie food banned in canteens
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Abortion made illegal in New York
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Tiger Woods to take 2-year break from golf
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Europeans dislike Americans attitudes
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: McDonalds found to breach FDA regulations, suspended from trading
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Mary-Kate Olsen responsible for Heath Ledgers death
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Plane crashes into prep school, hundreds of kids killed
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Stocks set to fall on recession
msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS: Obama set to win presidency

Clicking on the link, of course, does not really take you to MSNBCs website - but to a malicious webpage hosting a Mal/EncPk-DA infection.

Customers using Sophoss email and web gateway solutions were automatically proactively protected against both the spam messages and the malware attack. If you use other vendors products it might be prudent to see if they have made an update available.

This campaign is going to continue for as long as it works for the bad guys. Who knows what media organization the hackers will choose to disguise themselves as next?

As always, remember to be on your guard against clicking on links in unsolicited emails, and downloading unknown executables from the web, and tell your staff, friends and colleagues to do the same.

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