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Scam Watch

August 03, 2008|David Colker

The pitch: "FBI vs. Facebook"

The scam: Facebook fans, already upset about a recent legal action against their beloved Scrabulous game, might be eager to click on an "FBI vs. Facebook" attachment that comes in an e-mail. They shouldn't. The FBI issued a warning last week that the e-mail was a fake and that clicking on the link could let loose the nasty Storm Worm.

Its history: The Storm Worm started cropping up last year,

according to Snopes.com, in spam e-mails. It got its name because it was often contained in e-mails that had subject lines referring to natural disasters, such as "Strongest earthquake

hits Beijing." Sometimes the subject lines referred to other fake news events, such as "The Supreme Court has been attacked by terrorists."

How it works: Clicking on the attachment can download one of several variations of the worm into a computer. According to the FBI, the worm could be used by a remote user to search out information valuable for identity theft. Other sources say the infected computer could be used in conjunction with others to mount a "denial of service" attack that overloads an online

service.

Advice: Worms, viruses and other malware are commonly spread through e-mail attachments. Never click on an attachment unless you were expecting it. If an attachment comes from someone you know but you were not expecting it, it's best to check with the sender first before opening it.

-- David Colker

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