Soccer star subject of virus writers

Oct. 13, 2004 at 7:39 PM
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LONDON, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- British experts warn some people involved in spreading computer viruses are exploiting the worldwide interest in British soccer super star David Beckham.

Malicious messages are circulating widely that purport to have evidence of the England captain in a compromising position, the BBC reported.

But anyone visiting the website mentioned in the message will not see pictures of Beckham but, instead, will have their computer infected by a virus.

The virus opens a backdoor on a computer so it can be controlled remotely by malicious hackers, the report said.

Officials said the appearance of the Beckham Windows trojan is just another example in a long line of viruses that trade on interest in celebrities in an attempt to fuel their spread.

"The public's appetite for salacious gossip about the private life of the Beckhams might lead some into an unpleasant computer infection," said Graham Cluley from anti-virus firm Sophos.

Opening the message will not infect a user's PC, but anyone visiting the website it mentions who then downloads and opens the fake image file stored on that site will be infected.

Computers running Microsoft Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT or XP are vulnerable, the warning said.

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