New Spam: From CNN and MSNBC?

I have received several phone calls this week from readers saying they have been getting a ton of spam e-mail from CNN and MSNBC. The e-mails have headlines indicating they are breaking news alerts from either of the very popular news companies. Now, I’m sure all of you are smart enough to know that CNN and MSNBC would not actually send out spam, but where are the e-mails coming from?

Well, the e-mails are an attack from a botnet. Currently, several Web sites have been taken over by the worm and they are sending out millions of e-mails a day. While the e-mails look like they are from CNN and MSNBC, they’re not.

If you receive an e-mail from CNN or MSNBC, do not read it! You should immediately delete those messages and mark them as spam. Reading those e-mails and clicking on the links inside will put your computer at risk. You will be prompted to install a file that says it’s an update for the Flash player. That’s actually a virus. Installing that program will infect your system and turn your computer into a spam machine.

Usually, I would say you should report the issue to the company that is being spoofed, but in this case, they’re already very aware of the issue. Just hang in there and the messages will stop once the offending computers are taken offline and disinfected.

If you have been fooled into installing the “Flash Update,” you should run a full virus scan immediately. Until next time, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary