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Symantec Cautions Public of Swine Flu Related Spam and Malware

On the back of the recent global swine flu outbreak, Symantec Security Response has observed that malware writers joining spammers in leveraging the swine flu to reach unsuspecting computer users. While samples are extremely limited, this appears to be yet another attempt by hackers to leverage current events as lures to distribute their malware.

Symantec security experts have analyzed a malicious Adobe PDF attachment, “Swine influenza frequently asked questions.pdf” found in these emails. When users try to access the PDF file, malcode within the PDF tries to drop another piece of malware (InfoStealer) onto the user’s system. Infostealer then steals personal information from the computer, gathering it via email.

Symantec advises computer users to continue observing security best practices by keeping all security and other software up-to-date and exercise caution when opening suspicious files from unknown sources.

“The swine flu outbreak has heightened everyone’s fears as they look for ways to keep themselves healthy and safe against the outbreak,” said Kannan Velayutham, consultant for enterprise security, Malaysia, Symantec Corporation. “It is important that as consumers search for news, they should as always be cautious and only access to credible sources for information instead of sensational headlines.”

Some of the most common subject lines consumers should be aware of include:

*Mexico on edge as reports of swine flu cases climb
*UK monitoring swine flu outbreak
*UK probes ’17 swine flu reports’
*Global panic as swine flu spreads to Europe
*US declares emergency as Mexico flu death toll rises
* Probable Mexico swine flu death toll – 103: Minister
* Swine flu case confirmed in Spain
*Are you worried about flu outbreak?

More information can be found by visiting Symantec’s Security Response Blog at:

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