Did you get malware from a long lost school friend?

Sophos is warning of a new attempt to infect PCs with malware by someone posing as a long lost school friend. According to Sophos, internet hackers – taking advantage of the current popularity of social-networking and online friendships amongst adults – are using the lure of a possible internet romance in an attempt to trick the unwary into downloading a password-stealing Trojan horse.

SophosLabs’ blog reports that the emails, which have been spammed out across the internet, purport to be from a young blonde woman with pigtails called Ann Berns who claims that she went to high school with the recipient. The author refers to fond memories of after-school walks and classroom conversations in an attempt to encourage the recipient into investigating further and clicking on a URL to her personal homepage. Sophos experts note however that the link actually leads to a Trojan horse designed to break into online accounts and commit identity theft.

An extract from the email reads as follows:

Hi! I’m not sure if you remember me..
I’m Ann Berns, I guess we went to high school together.
It was quite a while ago but I still remember our friendship.
Do you remember that walk after classes? It was really cool!
I still think about you sometimes, all that fun, all whispering chats during classes. Do you want to see what I look like now? Visit my home page then, it’s at…