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August 18, 2014

Why Ebola might give your computer a virus

Hunger for information on the disease is helping hackers.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Fears over the Ebola virus are being exploited by hackers in several malware and phishing campaigns, according to security firm Symantec.

Victims are said to be sent emails pretending to contain information on Ebola, but instead are infected with trojans Zeus and Blueso, or the backdoor Breut.

The security firm said: "Symantec advises all users to be on guard for unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious emails.

"If you are not sure of the email’s legitimacy then don’t respond to it, and avoid clicking on links in the message or opening attachments."

Blueso, which is sent in an email purporting to be from a major telecoms firm, is said to be a conduit for the worm W32 Spyrat worm capable of logging large amounts of information on a user.

Hackers have also taken advantage of speculation over the Zmapp drug, positing it as a cure for the deadly virus and urging victims to spread the news, according to Symantec.

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CNN are also said to have been imitated by hackers as part of a phishing campaign, which tricks users into providing login credentials for their email accounts.

"If the user performs this action, their email login credentials will be sent directly to phishers," Symantec said. "The victim is redirected to the real CNN home page."

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