Commtech, an Israeli security firm, has detected spam that targets users with e-mails that impinge on their conscience to get them to download malware.
"Preying on people's guilty conscience with a virus is an ingenious trick of social engineering," says Rebecca Steinberg Herson, Commtouch's vice president of marketing. "The e-mail messages are written generically enough to fit almost every possible transgression one might wish to hide, ensuring people will open the attachments."
Some common subject headings for the malware e-mails include "I'm monitoring you," "You're being watched" and "The tape of your conversation." Commtouch says that the malware is sent in the form of a password-protected, compressed file that appears to be an MP3 sound file.
Users need to remain cautious when opening e-mail from unknown sources. The immediate impact of the malware was not known, but the firm added that they could be used to turn PCs into botnets.