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Hurricane Katrina is bringing out the worst in people on the net as well as on the streets of New Orleans. Spam emails purporting to offer links to news about Katrina are been used to tempt potential victims onto a site hosting Trojan malware.

The site exploits well-known IE vulnerabilities to install a variety of Trojans including Cgab-A, Borobot-P, Borobot-Q, Borodldr-H and Inor-R. Security firm Sophos reports that subject lines used in the malicious emails include, but are not limited to, the following:

Re: g8 Tropical storm flooded New Orleans.

Re: g7 80 percent of our city underwater.

Re: q1 Katrina killed as many as 80 people.

The malicious site (hosted in Poland) also harbours a secondary line of attack designed to dupe Windows users, reports Secure Computing. It cynically offers a "free scan" for the Zotob worm that in reality infects users with code that gives hackers control over compromised Windows PCs.

Similar - though arguably less sophisticated attacks - followed last year's Asian Tsunami and July's London bombing attacks. The malware attack isn't the first Katrina-themed scam. Earlier cynical attempts to cash in on the Katrina disaster came in the form of fake charity email appeals and the time-honoured sale of catastrophe-related urls. ®

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