New computer virus uses CNN headlines to trick recipients into opening file

Headlines from CNN’s Web site are being used as part of an effort by computer hackers to spread a new virus on the Internet, the news organization reported.

According to the report, a virus called Crowt-A grabs headlines from CNN’s site and presents them in the subject line of e-mails to unsuspecting recipients.

The infected e-mail’s subject line and attachment say: “Sophos researchers say” followed by a headline from CNN, the network reported. Sophos is a company that offers anti-virus solutions. The use of the headline from CNN is intended to dupe recipients into opening the e-mail’s attachment to infect their computers.

Once a computer is infected, the virus attempts to spread by e-mailing itself to contacts in the recipient’s e-mail address book. The virus also gives hackers backdoor entrance into the recipient’s computer by allowing them to track keystrokes.

It is estimated that 1 million computers have been infected as of last Friday.

Many stations augment their local brand identity with extensive news sites on the Internet.

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