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Booby-trapped emails fly back into fashion

Trojan assault wave takes many guises

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Malicious email attachments disguised as airline ticket receipts are being spammed across the internet as part of a new attack. The assault is the latest in a series of booby-trapped email attachments, which have seemingly become fashionable among VXers again, after many months of playing second-fiddle to website attacks.

The mendacious "ticket receipt" messages have a .zip file attached to them which, if opened on an unprotected Windows PC, results in infection by a Trojan horse, dubbed Invo-Zip by anti-virus firm Sophos. The body text of the poison pill email claims to contain a receipt for travel tickets supposedly costing hundreds of dollars and booked through one of a number of well-known airlines.

Brands aped in the attacks include Virgin America, American Airlines, Continental Airlines and US Airways.

The ploy is similar to contract malware scams detected by Sophos last week, which featured malicious .zip attachments disguised as changes to a contract. Some of these booby-trapped emails posed as messages from well-known firms like Starbucks, Apple and Google, while others claimed to be retirement plans.

Websense warned of a separate attack earlier this week, in which supposed holiday coupon emails from well-known brands were actually spoofed messages loaded with a contaminated .zip file containing Trojan horse malware. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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