Spammers are exploiting the public's interest in this week's European storm to spread a computer virus that sends junk email, computer security experts, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.
The Associated Press report said the malicious program, dubbed 'Storm Worm,' has infected at least 10,000 PCs worldwide, Mikko Hypponen, the head of research at F-Secure, said. The virus arrives as an attachment to an email.
The emails' subject line, '230 dead as storm batters Europe,' refers to Thursday's storm that disrupted travel for tens of thousands, shut down power and killed at least 47 people.
'The timing is particularly clever,' Hypponen was quoted as saying. 'They are taking advantage of people's curiosity in a natural disaster that has news value.'
Once the attachment is opened, the virus is installed, allowing spammers to take control of the infected PC without the victims' knowledge. The computers can then be used to send more junk email or pass along personal information.The report further said the attachment itself is usually named 'Full Clip.exe,' 'Full Story.exe,' 'Read More.exe' and 'Video.exe.'