BEIJING, June 13 -- British computer security company Sophos has warned that a spam email claiming that pop star Michael Jackson has attempted suicide is an attempt by hackers to lure innocent computer users into being infected by a Trojan horse.
The email "Re: Suicidal Attempt" reads: "Last night, while in his Neverland Ranch, Michael Jackson has made a suicidal attempt." It then asks computer users to click on a link to a website which then sends a "Trojan horse" virus into their computers. The virus infects computers with annoying programs known as "malware".
Computer security analysts however, say that this virus will last only as long as hackers don't find another one to hog the limelight, adding that Jackson virus is doing the round because Jackson is in the limelight now.
"The sick minds behind viruses and other malware often exploit celebrity names and news stories in an attempt to infect as many people as possible," said Carole Theriault, a security consultant at Sophos.
"All computer users should be very careful about clicking on weblinks in unsolicited email or launching unknown attachments."
The email comes as attention is focused on the pop star's child molestation case. The jury must reach a verdict on all 10 counts or a hung jury will be declared.