Cybercriminals hoping to profit from the hype over Microsoft's Windows 7 have targeted spam email campaigns offering special deals on the new operating system, but these deals are likely traps for distributing malware.
Security researchers at McAfee reported seeing a surge in Windows 7 related spam beginning in September, with subject lines such as "Microsoft Windows 7 special offers." These messages have reached as high as 1.88 percent of all spam, McAfee said.
"That might sound like a small number, but when you consider that daily spam volumes can reach 160 billion messages, it is not insignificant," McAfee's David Marcus said on the McAfee Labs Blog.
Microsoft is warning customers not to be fooled by offers of pirated versions of Microsoft software and products, which could contain malware that can take over a victim's PC and steal their personal data.
On the Microsoft Malware Protection Center blog, the company said it has seen spikes in a Trojan called Win32/Bifrose which comes included in a pirated version of Windows Vista called Vista Black Edition.
"So you see kids, illegal software is seldom free of all cost," Microsoft's Matt McCormack said in the post. "Chances are you're paying for it in ways you didn't consider