Computer Virus Targets Gullible Lovebirds

Clicking on heart images in email could turn your machine into spambot
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2009 4:55 PM CST
A woman passes a large Valentine's heart.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A Valentine-themed spam campaign is underway, with a side dish of coercion and extortion, Computer Weekly reports. Users receive an email, ostensibly from a secret admirer, with a link to a website that downloads a bot called Waledec. Not only does Waledec co-opt the user’s address list and start sending out the same emails—it also installs a “rogue anti-virus program” that issues false alerts.

As the false alerts pile up, the program, MS AntiSpyware 2009, refuses to correct the so-called problems until the user purchases the registered version, Marshal TRACE adds. The bogus app even warns that the computer is being used to send spam, perhaps to encourage the user to pay up. The Waledec program responsible is notoriously difficult to defend against, even for legitimate anti-virus software.