An email claiming to originate from an anti-spyware company is being used to spread a new Trojan downloader, security experts warned today.
BlackSpider Technologies said that the email is a classic example of social engineering.
It purports to come from the customer service department of a legitimate anti-spyware company confirming a subscription to one of its products and the deduction of £79.39 from the recipient's credit card account.
The email goes on to claim that the attachment contains the detailed invoice, but it actually contains the Downloader.Bancos Trojan which can be used to download new malware onto the PC.
The virus enjoyed a window of exposure of just three and a half hours, according to BlackSpider.
It was first seen by the firm at 10:06 GMT on 20 July and 100,000 of the virus-laden emails were sent to UK businesses before it was finally patched at 13:40.
The body of the email reads:
Thank you for your order. Spysoftcentral processes orders and collects payments on behalf of PC Tools.
Your credit card (VISA) has been debited with GBP 79.39 and the level of credit card authorization has been changed.
Please note that "www.spysoftcentral.com" will appear on your credit card statement, and not the name of the publisher (PC Tools).
You will receive detailed information on the shipment in a separate e-mail that was sent at the same time as this e-mail.
James Kay, chief technology officer at BlackSpider, said: "This is not the first time virus writers have used PC users' anxiety over spyware to entice them to open a malicious attachment.
"As far as social engineering goes, I would not be surprised if lots of people were duped by this ploy."
Moon's dark side is mountainous, rugged and never visible from the Earth
The groundwater basins in some areas of Tehran have been damaged irreversibly
This is the first time that any spacecraft on Mars has recorded air vibrations on the planet
Arctic sea ice is thickening at a faster rate during winter, thus slowing down long-term decline: NASA
But, the seasonal ice growth could only delay the demise of the Arctic ice cap for a few more decades