|The FBI has issued a warning to the public to be on guard against a computer virus that arrives in an e-mail message purporting to come from the government's famous crime- fighting agency.|
According to a statement on the FBI's Web site today, the e-mail is disguised as official correspondence warning people that their Internet use has been monitored by the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center and that they have "accessed illegal Web sites."
The e-mails appear to come from an fbi.gov address, then direct recipients to open the virus-laden attachment to answer a series of questions.
"These e-mails did not come from the FBI," the Bureau said in a statement."The FBI does not engage in the practice of sending unsolicited e-mails to the public in this manner."
The agency further warned people against opening any e-mail attachment sent to them from an unknown sender.
Growing Number of Hoaxes
Security experts said that the spoofing of the FBI address was a reflection of the growing scourge of hoax e-mails that are meant to appear as though they are generated by a reliable or known source.
These hoax messages often fool people into visiting websites or sending replies that contain confidential personal information like PIN numbers and credit card accounts and are considered the leading cause of identity theft.