Messages promising cash savings and discounts are becoming an increasingly popular vector for spammers, security experts have warned.
McAfee researcher Micha Pekrul said that the company's Avert Labs had received reports of a new malware attack which uses the lure of coupons to infect users with a Trojan.
The spam comes in the form of a short message which contains a hyperlink claiming to offer coupon bundles. On clicking the link, the user is directed to a localised page which offers "thousands of coupons" in the form of an executable file.
Rather than receiving coupons, however, the user is infected with a selection of malware, including a tool which adds the victim's computer to a botnet known as 'Waledac'.
The page also contains an iFrame tag which attempts to perform a browser exploit to install further malware on unpatched systems.
The attacks follow a theme which first arose late last year as the economy took a turn for the worse. As the crisis continues, experts predict that such coupon attacks and 'money mule' scams will only get worse.
"Consumers looking for a bargain should take care, since the bad guys want to fool people trying to save some money these days," wrote Pekrul in a blog post.
"As a last piece of advice we can only stress again that consumers should always take care with offers that look too good to be true, particularly in a global economic crisis."
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