Top US Execs Victimized by Devious Phishing Scam

Virus, disguised as subpoena, thought to come from Singapore or China
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 3:06 PM CDT
Rich Skrenta works on his home computer at home. Skrenta is credited with creating the first computer virus in 1982.    (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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(Newser) – American executives are the latest targets of an incognito email virus that comes packaged as an authentic-looking subpoena demanding the corporate heads appear before a California grand jury. There have been several victims of the attack, the New York Times reports, which is thought to originated in Singapore or China—and could be spearheaded by a group that tried an attack last November.

Execs who download software to view their “subpoenas” unwittingly give criminals access to passwords and other corporate information; the malware even allows the perpetrators to control the victim computers remotely. Only 40% of popular antivirus programs succeed in intercepting the scam messages. An expert said one particular part of the financial industry has been targeted, but did not elaborate.