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E-Mail Carries Love And Viruses For Valentine's Day

The FBI is warning that an unexpected e-card in your in-box may contain the Storm Worm virus.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Google on Tuesday released the results of a survey showing that young people are embracing e-mail to send love letters. Coincidentally, the FBI warned on Tuesday that cybercriminals are embracing e-mail to send fake love letters.

"The survey affirmed that e-mail is an increasingly important part of our most intimate and personal interactions, and that younger people are leading the charge: they are more likely to use e-mail for everything from sending love letters to ending relationships," said Google group product marketing manager Jen Grant in a blog post.

But the FBI advises caution. "If you unexpectedly receive a Valentine's Day e-card, be careful," the agency said. "It may not be from a secret admirer, but instead might contain the Storm Worm virus."

Security software vendor Trend Micro issued a similar warning on Monday. "As we had already forecast last month, Storm is already sending their Valentine greetings this week," said security researcher David Sancho in a blog post. "The owners of this powerful botnet are doing as much as possible to [sustain the number of compromised machines at their disposal]. This includes spamming people and making them click on malicious links. This time around, the messages are of love."

More and more of this virus-laden e-mail love is coming from Russia. According to Sophos, Russia has overtaken China to become the second largest sender of spam, behind the United States.

"Responsible for a third of all unwanted e-mail, USA and Russia can be viewed as the two dirty men of the spam generation, polluting e-mail traffic with unwanted and potentially malicious messages," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos, in a statement.