PC users warned over Christmas spamConsumers warned over Christmas spam

24 December 2008

Screenshot of a spam filter button

Spam filters ensure junk email is sent to the junk folder

Beware Christmas crackers or indeed any Christmas-themed messages in your in-box during the festive season – chances are they could contain spam or viruses.

Security firm Sophos is warning that spammers are dressing up conventional spam such as Viagra with a seasonal theme. The messages, which have subject lines including ‘I lost your cell number’, ‘it’s my new mail’ and ‘I got lost in town’ show drugs such as Viagra covered in snow with the message ‘Merry Christmas’.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: 'As many offices around the world wind down for the holidays, the notorious Viagra spammers never sleep - they've modified their relentless campaign to prey on computer users' desire to have some fun between the sheets at Christmas.'

Cluley also warned those receiving PCs as Christmas presents to be vigilant. ‘If your PC is wrapped up under the tree it's not getting security updates – and chances are that it wasn't while it sat in a box at PC World either. The biggest threats are the most prevalent malware we've seen over the last three or four months.’

See our test of security software for details of how to keep your computer safe, this Christmas.

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