SINGAPORE, July 2, 2009 (AFP) - Computer security firm Sophos issued a warning Thursday about an Internet virus transmitted from a mass email claiming to contain secret songs and photos of Michael Jackson.
The email comes with the subject "Remembering Michael Jackson" and is sent from "firstname.lastname@example.org", Sophos said in a statement sent by its Asia office in Singapore.
It tells recipients that an attached file titled "Michael songs and pictures.zip" contains secret songs and photos of the pop music icon, who died of a heart attack in the United States on June 25.
Sophos warned computer users not to open the attachment.
"By opening the attachment, computer users are exposed to infection. Once infected, a computer will begin automatically spreading the worm onto other Internet users," Sophos said.
"Besides spreading via email, Sophos experts note that the malware is also capable of spreading as an Autorun component on USB memory sticks."
Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, said many computer users are likely to be tempted to open the attachment because of the feverish interest in the King of Pop's sudden death.
"But sensible computer users should by now be well aware that cybercriminals will be quick to exploit news events to spread malware and spam," he said.
"Anyone who receives this email should delete it immediately to save themselves the embarrassment of infecting their email contacts."