Beware of hoax virus emails

Monday - 9/20/2010, 8:30am EDT

We all know you're just trying to help by spreading the word about worms and viruses that might infect your computer. You send the email along, just like someone sent it to you. Problem is, the email itself could be a hoax. The Economic Times reports that often these messages have technical jargon inside, with a provocative subject line. You forward it to your friends, and they pass it on. The problem is, it isn't true. And such email, which is actually SPAM, starts to take on an air of authenticity. It clogs bandwidth and email inboxes. But that's not all it does. It is a good test of your identity factor. Now, whomever originated the email can tell if you're a real person behind that email address and really spam you.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily Cybersecurity Update brought to you by Tripwire. For more cybersecurity news, click here.