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24 May 2006

Da Vinci Code spam hits email inboxes

Anti-spam experts at SophosLabs™ are calling on consumers to be wary of unsolicited emails trying to sell them goods via spam, as an unsolicited email campaign offers a copy of Dan Brown's best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code".

At its global network of spam traps Sophos has intercepted emails inviting recipients to join a book club, claiming to offer a free copy of "The Da Vinci Code" as an incentive. The email calls on people to "Read the novel everyone's STILL talking about" and to "Get the Da Vinci Code free, plus five more bestsellers for 99 cents."

The spam campaign offers a free copy of 'The Da Vinci Code'

The spam campaign offers a free copy of 'The Da Vinci Code'.

"People should be careful of unsolicited emails like this and remember the old adage that there's no such thing as a free lunch," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "This Da Vinci Code email directs recipients to a website that was registered less than a month ago - a clue which instantly sets alarm bells ringing in anti-spam circles. The intention of the website is presently unclear, but it certainly fails to supply a free book to surfers."

According to a poll* conducted earlier this year, 9% of computer users have purchased goods sold via spam, which Sophos claims is more than enough to keep spammers in business and encourage them to continue bombarding innocent users with unsolicited emails.

"Some would argue that there's more than enough wall-to-wall coverage about Dan Brown's controversial book on the TV, radio and cinema without having to be subjected to it via email too," continued Cluley. "It's time to boycott the companies who use spam to sell their goods. If you receive an unsolicited commercial email don't try, don't buy, don't reply."

Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend businesses from the threats of spam, spyware and viruses.

* Sophos online survey, 533 respondents, February 2006

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.