Beware of viral Valentines

Filed Under: Malware, Spam, Video

It's St Valentine's Day on Sunday, which means many will be sitting by their email inboxes in the hope of receiving a romantic message from a secret admirer.

However, don't think that Cupid is the only one who might be firing arrows in your direction. In the past we've seen plenty of examples of hackers and cybercriminals exploiting the traditional day of love and romance by spreading malware, disguised as Valentine's Day ecards.

Here's a tongue-in-cheek video we made (in the style of an old-fashioned sexist public information film) all about how Valentine's cards could be the undoing of your corporate network:

(Enjoy this video? You can check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like)

Remember to always be suspicious of unsolicited emails carrying links and attachments, they could be more akin to poisoned pen letters than thrilling notes of love.

And don't forget that it's not just malicious ecards that can take advantage of you when you're head is full of thoughts of love. In the past we've discussed hackers who have lurked on lonely hearts websites with the intention of sending spyware to their innocent victims, as well as the seemingly endless parade of buxom Russian women who want to be your bride.

So, please do keep your wits about you and keep your head when all about you are losing theirs.

PS. Thanks to Deborah in the Marketing department for being a good sport, and for someone whose name is an anagram of Clamy H Earlug for providing the stiff-upper-lip narration in the video.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley