Paris Hilton used as virus bait

Fans of the socialite beware - emails promising pictures of the hotel heiress could be infected with viruses

An email promising erotic photos of hotel heiress Paris Hilton is likely to contain a nasty surprise.

Antivirus experts discovered two email worms -- Sober-K and Ahker-C -- on Tuesday that have subject headers that claim to feature hardcore footage of the party girl, but actually contain attachments that can destroy security settings on PCs.

The Sober-K worm sends itself in German and English using a variety of subject lines including "Paris Hilton, pure!" and "Paris Hilton SexVideos".

But the more destructive worm, Ahker-C, disables antivirus and firewall settings, and blocks access to some Web sites. It sends itself with the subject line "Paris Hilton...download it!" and a file called "ParisXXX.zip", which contains the virus.

"It's an old trick but sadly it still works -- disguise your worm as hardcore porn and there are likely to be some computer users who will throw common sense out of the window and launch the dangerous file," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Those looking for the simple life, without the trouble of viruses and worms, would be wise to be wary of unsolicited email attachments."

Hilton shot to prominence after starring in an explicit home video which was posted on the Internet. On the same day the worms were discovered, it was reported that hackers had broken into her mobile phone and stolen the telephone numbers of A-list celebrities before posting them online.

"Paris Hilton, according to some search engine companies, is the most commonly searched for female celebrity on the Internet," added Cluley. "Interest in her is huge, so it's no surprise that virus writers have tried to use her as bait."

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