Reason #4,643 To Just Say 'No' to Spam
Everyone knows it's a pain to clean out the spam from your e-mail inbox. And Security Fix's regular readers should know by now that spam poses a more insidious risk because many messages try to trick users into clicking on Web links that are intended to do bad things to your computer -- from downloading spyware to keylogger programs that capture your passwords and other personal information.
Here's the latest example: Some online scammer (or scammers) is impersonating a spam operation, sending out junk e-mails advertising an online pharmacy site that looks like your usual fly-by-night male enhancement product site but in fact is nothing more than a bogus storefront that tries to install a computer virus that targets the latest Microsoft Windows security hole.
According to an alert published by Websense, this particular site tries to exploit a flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser to install something bad. The company said it didn't know just what that bad thing might have been, because the idiots who designed the site bungled the exploit code, so any unpatched IE browsers that visit the site simply crash.
But I'm sure it won't be long until the people behind this scam fix their code or other jokers start successfully exploiting this flaw through fake Web sites advertised through spam.
The moral of all this, of course, is NEVER, EVER click on links in unsolicited e-mail messages, and be extra wary of links in e-mails you receive from friends and contacts, because their computers might have been co-opted by the bad guys.
August 16, 2005; 1:15 PM ET
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