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20 Feb 2007

Malicious Ikea spam knocks flat German email users

Hackers disguise their Trojan-infected emails

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have warned German computer users to be on their guard against a malicious email which claims to come from home furniture giant Ikea.

The emails, which have been widely spammed out, pose as a communication from Ikea Deutschland, but opening the attached file launches the Troj/Clagger-AZ Trojan horse.

The email claims to come from Ikea
The email claims to come from Ikea.

"Users may be so surprised to receive an unexpected bill from Ikea that they will open the attached file without thinking twice," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "If the attached file is run, the Trojan will attempt to download further malware from the web which could open up the computer for abuse. It's vital that users ensure their anti-virus software is up-to-date, or they could risk compromising both their PCs and their personal data."

In the past, German internet users have been bombarded with similar malicious emails claiming to come from the likes of 1&1, Walmart and the German television licensing organization.

"By turning to the Swedish furniture superstore as their disguise, the hackers are showing they have no intent to shelve their plans anytime soon," continued Cluley. "Attacks like this aren't just a problem in Germany, they are hitting internet users around the world in different forms every day."

In January, Sophos published its Security Threat Report 2007, which revealed the rise in use by hackers of downloading Trojan horses. The report can be downloaded from the Sophos website:

Sophos recommends companies automatically update their corporate virus protection, and run a consolidated solution at the email gateway to defend against viruses, spyware and spam.

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.