Air France crash prompts spam, malware outbreak

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As expected, spammers and malware writers are trying to cash in on the Air France disaster.

Spammers have begun falsely promising news on the Air France crash as a way of tricking recipients into opening messages promoting Canadian pharmacy products.

Junk mailers this week began pushing a new campaign that included subject headings such as "Last seconds of plane" or "A-330 blackbox record" as a means of enticing users into opening the emails. If they did, users were met with messages pushing discounted drugs, such as Viagra and Tamiflu.

"As usual, these spammers are disrespectful and do not hesitate to use the most shocking events to promote their shady businesses," Francois Paget, a McAfee senior virus research engineer, wrote Thursday on the Avert Labs blog.

Not all of the emails using Air France as a hook are as benign. Websense researchers said Thursday that they have detected a Portuguese spam campaign claiming to include links to videos from the crash site, but the links actually lead to a trojan downloader.

Air France Flight 447 crashed on May 31 en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, killing all 228 people on board, making it the worst air disaster since 2001.

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