Computer Crime Research Center


Beware: virus, FBI warns

Date: July 06, 2005
Source: Tahoe Daily
By: William Ferchland

An FBI agent issued a warning to computer owners about fraud and a fake e-mail with a link for protection against the Trojan horse program which actually ends up downloading the tool for computer thievery.

The e-mail appears to have been sent by Microsoft with a means to download safeguards against viruses and the Trojan horse program, said Agent Chris Campion.

In actuality, Microsoft does not send out such e-mails, he said. The computer company will send updates but users typically must take the initiative when seeking safeguards.

Trojan horse programs have two risks, Campion said, one being the program will collect keystrokes, passwords, financial information and other data before sending it back to the thief.

The other danger is a host of computers infected with the program can be used collectively to bring down a government or business Web site, Campion said.

Matt Klym, owner and technician at Affordable Computer Care, said there are thousands of Trojan horse programs that share the name from the Greek mythology tale.

Klym said he hasn't heard of the Microsoft e-mail but "there's all sorts of e-mails like that going around."

They include sites posing as banking institutions asking for full financial information, Klym said.

Ed Johns, a manager at Floppys computer store, agreed Microsft wouldn't send such e-mails and antivirus software would identify the dangerous e-mail.

The other warning Campion issued is for people to continue to be aware of buyers on online auction sites. The scam involves a buyer sending a bogus cashier's check for more than the selling price and asking the seller to deposit the extra money in an account.
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