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MSNBC Spam-O-Rama

Just when you thought it was safe to look in your in-box again, a new wave of malware spam has arrived. Lucky us.

This morning I found my Gmail spam box stuffed with “BREAKING NEWS” purporting to be from MSNBC. Headlines have range from the semi-plausible: “McCain Plans Vietnam Campaign Tour;” to the unlikely, “Nation Morns the Tragic Loss of Britney Spears;” to the utterly unbelievable: “Paris Hilton Lectures on Dickens and Dostoevsky.” For more, much more, you can see a listing of spam subjects used to date on the MSNBC.com Spam page.

If this sounds familiar, it should. In early August, a flood of similar spam messages poured out. These pretended to be from CNN and also had over-the-top headlines with links to bogus sites. Once there, you’d get a message telling you that you had to upgrade your Adobe Flash Player. If you’d had gone that far your only choice was to either download the “Flash Player,” which was actually one of several malware packages or quit your browser.

This is a replay of the same malicious spam game. As a Linux user, it doesn’t do anything to me except fill up my inbox with junk. For na├»ve Windows users, though, it’s a real threat.

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