It sounds like campaign propaganda, but President-elect Barack Obama is a Trojan horse.
Obama’s name and purported links to his Election Night acceptance speech have proliferated in malicious software spreading around the World Wide Web since yesterday morning, Internet security firms report.
One spam message, subject line “Obama Wouldn’t Be First Black President,” directs readers to a link said to show his Tuesday speech. To watch, the user has to download a "new" flash player, adobe_flash9.exe. F-Secure Weblog warns that the “player” is really a virus out to steal confidential information on your computer and upload it to a server in Ukraine.
The security firm Sunbelt Software has picked up the same Obama spam with different subject lines, among them: “Obama's Win Reshapes the Race,” “USA Election 2008 Results,” “Election Center 2008 - Election Results,” “Election 2008: Time lapse of U.S. counties,” “Obama win preferred in world poll,” “The new President's cabinet?” and “Can Obama win popular vote but lose election?”
Another email comes embedded with links to video that installs the file BarackObama.exe. Clicking the video may infect your computer, CNET reports.
The best way to avoid the virus: delete all suspicious emails without opening them. F-Secure chief security advisor Patrik Runald tells the Washington Post’s Security Fix blog that consumers should be on the lookout, because the hackers are successfully exploiting intense public interest in Obama and anti-virus software isn't catching all of the viruses. In a scan by Virustotal, only 14 of 36 anti-virus products picked up the malicious software.
"This is not a big surprise, but it was done relatively quickly [after the election]," Runald told Security Fix. "I'd say this will be fairly successful, given that a lot of people are interested in the election, obviously."
(Image of President-elect Barack Obama/Obama for America)