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Virus, spyware and spam analysis company, SophosLabs has discovered a new scam which uses forwarded chain letters to collect email addresses.

The spam email campaign seen by Sophos poses as a research project into chain mail and joke messages, by a person called Gemma.

“Under the pretence of ‘research’, spammers are trying to fool internet users into passing on dozens of email addresses with every message they forward. At best this could result in spam being sent to all of your friends and colleagues, at worst they could be put at risk of identity theft. Computer users should break the chain and not respond to messages such as this one,” said Sophos technology consultant, Graham Cluley.

Part of the email reads as follows:

“I would be very grateful if you would be kind enough to forward absolutely anything and everything that remotely resembles chain mail, forwards of any type (even the rude ones). This project is based over the next year and I need at least 500,000 forwards for this project to be a success, so please keep them coming the more the better.”

Sophos recommends companies protect their email gateways with a consolidated solution to defend against viruses, spyware and spam, as well as secure their desktop and servers with automatically updated protection.

See: www.sophos.com.au

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