Saddam Not Dead Yet, Mail Just A Worm

Messages churned out by the Bobax.h worm can arrive with the subject heading of "Saddam Hussein - Attempted Escape, Shot dead Attached some pics that i found," said U.K.-based Sophos.

The attached file, of course, is nothing of the kind, but instead is the worm, which when run, propagates to other machines, tries to disable anti-virus and security software, and installs an e-mail relay module which can be used by remote hackers for sending spam.

"People who launch unsolicited attachments without thinking are walking straight into the hands of malicious virus writers and spamming gangs," said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant with Sophos, in a statement.

Bobax.h also spreads using the same LSASS vulnerability first disclosed by Microsoft in April, 2004, and which was soon after used by Sasser to infect a large number of PCs worldwide.

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Saddam joins the ranks of other luminaries -- from politicians like Bill Clinton to celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez -- who have been used as bait by worm writers . Osama bin Laden, who remains at large, also has been used by hackers to dupe users into opening attachments.