Berlusconi death Trojan spreading

An email alert on the death of Berlusconi hides Trojan in country specific attack for Italy

Security experts are warning of a Trojan that has been spammed out purporting to have details on the death of Silvio Berlusconi.

The email header reads 'Berlusconi la morte', 'Berlusconi di terrorismo', 'Berlusconi Tragedia', and 'Berlusconi di omicidio' but the attachment they contain has the files necfotos.zip, which contains an image of Berlusconi (silvio01.gif), and a malicious PIF file (silvio02.pif).

"The news report is of course false - Signor Berlusconi is very much alive, and launching the file will not show you a picture of the former Italian PM, but instead execute malicious code on your Windows PC," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"Hackers are exploiting the public's interest in politics, current events and breaking news to spread malware. Anyone unfortunate enough to run this program risks allowing hackers to gain access to their computer to spy, steal and cause havoc."

The attack is expected to hit Italian internet users hardest but infections are expected in Britain too. The decision to target Italy reflects the county's relatively large user base, which would be useful for building botnets or harvesting personal data for identity theft.

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