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The virus writers behind last week's Storm Trojan outbreak showed off some neat tabloid headline-writing skills in a string of similar attacks over the weekend.

The original attack tried to trick users into executing malicious files containing Trojan horse code, posing as information about the inclement weather. The malware was distributed in messages with subject lines such as "230 dead as storm batters Europe", supplied with attachments containing the Small-DAM (AKA DwnLdr-FYD) Trojan. Attachments may contain one of the following filenames: Full Clip.exe; Full Story.exe; Read More.exe and Video.exe.

The malware also came in emails carrying other provocative subject lines including: "British Muslims Genocide", "Naked teens attack home director", "A killer at 11, he's free at 21 and kill again!" and "U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has kicked German Chancellor Angela Merkel".

If executed, the payload turns infected PCs into compromised, zombie clients under the control of hackers. Two in every three reports of malware tracked by anti-virus firm Sophos on Friday, 19 January involved reports of the Trojan.

The attack was followed up on Saturday by a modified version of the Trojan and fresh supposed "news" items such as "Chinese missile shot down USA satellite", "Sadam Hussein alive!", "Radical Muslim drinking enemies' blood" and "Fidel Castro dead". By Sunday emails punting the Trojan (dubbed Agent-bet) appeared with even more sensational, with subject lines such as "The commander of a U.S. nuclear submarine lunch the rocket by mistake", "First Nuclear Act of Terrorism!" and "Third World War just have started!"

Blimey.

The latest wave of attacks are suspected to be the work of the same gang that punted the original "storm Trojan", though this is unconfirmed. Evidence suggests the attacks over the weekend were less widespread than the original storm Trojan.

More information on the attacks can be found on F-Secure's Security Blog here. ®

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