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New e-mail scam preys on Ebola fears, spreads malware

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An e-mail that claims to come from the World Health Organization can unleash malware that lets hackers gain control of your computer. (WLS)

The I-Team investigated a computer virus that preys on people's fears over Ebola. An e-mail that claims to come from the World Health Organization can unleash malware that lets hackers gain control of your computer.

If this malware is downloaded on to your computer, the hackers can not only get your passwords but they can also have complete access to your webcam and microphone in your own home or office.

The e-mail looks real with a logo from the World Health Organization, and says it has crucial information to protect you against Ebola.

But if you click on the attachment there is another danger in store for your desktop - a malware called "dark comet."

"Once dark comet is installed on your system the criminals out there have full control of your computer. They can turn on your web cam and video tape you without you knowing they can turn on your microphone and record voices in the room they can upload files and download files , install things, steal passwords," said Karl Sigler, Trustwave.

Anti-spam digital security specialist Karl Sigler works for Chicago's Trustwave, but he's based in Atlanta and spoke to the I-Team via Skype.

Trustwave discovered and verified this was a spam e-mail after luring the phishers into their spam trap servers, called "honey pots." they replicate real mail or web servers used by consumers and employees.

"They are really looking for those people in corporate environments and business environments and opening this e-mail and not just putting their own system at risk but their entire internal network business at risk," Sigler said.

There have been similar spam campaigns recently, with one asking users to click on a risky attachments which promised to show them those revealing celebrity photos leaked on the cloud.

As a general rule, you should never click on any link or attachment on an unsolicited e-mail that you are not familiar with.

You also need to be aware of attachments on e-mails, from people who you think you know. If you see a strange e-mail from a friend asking you to click on something, you may want to call them first because their account could have been compromised.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued an official warning about these types of e-mails.

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technologyI-Teamebolatechnologyemailsu.s. & worldconsumer
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