Top US Execs Victimized by Devious Phishing Scam

Virus, disguised as subpoena, thought to come from Singapore or China
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 3:06 PM CDT
Top US Execs Victimized by Devious Phishing Scam
Rich Skrenta works on his home computer at home. Skrenta is credited with creating the first computer virus in 1982.    (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

American executives are the latest targets of an incognito email virus that comes packaged as an authentic-looking subpoena demanding the corporate heads appear before a California grand jury. There have been several victims of the attack, the New York Times reports, which is thought to originated in Singapore or China—and could be spearheaded by a group that tried an attack last November.

Execs who download software to view their “subpoenas” unwittingly give criminals access to passwords and other corporate information; the malware even allows the perpetrators to control the victim computers remotely. Only 40% of popular antivirus programs succeed in intercepting the scam messages. An expert said one particular part of the financial industry has been targeted, but did not elaborate. (Read more phishing stories.)

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