If you’re like several of us, you’ve received the email claiming to offer info about state H1N1 vaccination programs run by the CDC. Considering the frenzy that’s ensued over the national shortage of H1N1 vaccines, it’s easy to understand why you might be anxious to follow the link within.
But the CDC would never send an e-mail like this. They’re not that pro-active, at least not like this. Ironically, the note is a sort of virus rapped in a fake solicitation for a very real vaccine. And clicking on the link activates a malware program that makes users’ computers start sending out spam.
The spam attack started Monday and was still causing problems later in the week, according to a recent article in Computer World. This certainly isn’t the first instance of H1N1-themed spam, but it appears to be one of the largest efforts, and the decision to exploit people’s anxieties about the vaccine shortage seems particularly nefarious. Here’s the version received yesterday by a Fast Company employee:
“You have received this e-mail because of the launching of State Vaccination H1N1 Program. You need to create your personal H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov Web site. The Vaccination is not obligatory, but every person that has reached the age of 18 has to have his personal Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov site. This profile has to be created both for the vaccinated people and the not-vaccinated ones. This profile is used for the registering system of vaccinated and not-vaccinated people. Create your Personal H1N1 Vaccination Profile using the link:”