A new Trojan is spreading in an email purporting to be an alert about a major loss of life in Iraq.
The emails were first detected last night and claim to contain a report from The Guardian on the death of 140 US Marines. The email contains a link to the 'full story' but leads users to a bogus web page with two Trojans built in.
Once on the PC the Trojans will allow full control, harvesting personal information and using the computer to spam more copies of the Trojan.
"The deaths of American marines in Iraq are a tragedy and it's sickening to think that hackers are prepared to exploit these troubles in an attempt to break into computers for the purposes of spamming, extortion and theft," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
"Everyone should ensure that they have defences in place to properly protect against the very latest malware attacks."
Iraq has not been used as a social engineering tool for virus propagation before, although in the early days of the ground war spammers hoped to capitalise on patriotic feelings by selling flags and badges.
Meanwhile, millions of people have received an email from 'Dr Samir Hassan' who is looking to covertly lodge millions of Saddam Hussein's dollars in a Western bank account in exchange for a 10 per cent cut. It is not known if he has had any takers.
Australian government to require technology and communications companies to provide access to messages
New bill avoids demanding 'backdoors' in encryption, but includes measures to compel companies to provide access to encrypted communications
Indonesian overclocker Ivan Cupa (with the aid of a lot of liquid nitrogen) achieves record overclock on AMD's latest Threadripper
Ssupermassive black hole is so big it corresponds to four per cent of the galaxy's total mass
Imminent attack will target a single bank with cloned cards used to fraudulently withdraw millions over one weekend