Spammers launched a widespread attack on e-mail inboxes this month. But instead of trying to lure users into opening a corrupted attachment, they're concealing a computer virus in a link to an online greeting card.
Last week, the FBI warned consumers about greeting-card spam; earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission held a summit on the growth of malicious e-mail. Symantec, an antivirus company, also said it has seen a proliferation of online-greeting-card scams recently.
In most cases, the subject line informs recipients that they've received a greeting card or a postcard from a "friend," "family member," "worshipper," "school-mate" or "neighbour." When the e-mail is opened, there's a link to a Web site that uploads viruses to the recipient's computer.
Now that consumers generally know about the dangers of opening attachments from unknown senders, some hackers have turned to using links instead. Web site links don't generate the same level of suspicion among Internet users, as consumers regularly send online gift cards, share online photo albums and offer birthday wishes via e-mail.
Users of infected computers have few choices beyond buying and installing software to scan and clean their hard drives. Those who receive a purported greeting-card e-mail — but don't recognize the sender — are instructed to delete the e-mail.
source : google news