A new Michael Jackson internet worm is spreading quickly on the internet. The worm sends malicious e-mails with fake news regarding Michael Jackson. The virus spams users with e-mails with the subject "Re: Suicidal aattempt". The message text, which contains some spelling errors:
"Last night, while in his Neverland Ranch, Michael Jackson has made a suicidal attempt.
They suggest this attempt follows the last claim was made against the king of pop.
46 years old Michael has left pre-suicid note which describes and interpretes some of his sins."
The mail then asks the user to click on a link to read more of the article, taking the users to a site which secretly installs a trojan hore onto their PC.
"If you click on the link the website displays a message saying it is too busy, which may not surprise people who think it might contain genuine breaking news about Michael Jackson," said Carole Theriault, security consultant at Sophos. "However, this is a diversionary tactic - because behind the scenes the website is downloading malware onto the user's computer without their knowledge."
Sophos says the worm tries to download another Trojan horse, identified as Troj/Borobt-Gen. This allows the creators of the virus to remotely control infected PCs, to send even more spam or to launch denial of service attacks.
Sophos notes that this is not the first time that the troubled pop star has been exploited by virus writers and hackers attempting to spread their malware. In October last year messages were posted on the internet claiming that incriminating home videos belonging to Jackson had been discovered - but clicking on the link infected web surfers with the Hackarmy Trojan horse.
"The sick minds behind viruses and other malware often exploit celebrity names and news stories in an attempt to infect as many people as possible," continued Theriault. "All computer users should be very careful about clicking on weblinks in unsolicited email or launching unknown attachments."