Melbourne, January 20 (ANI): Malicious e-mails suggesting that Barack Obama has refused the presidency of the U.S. surfaced just hours before his inauguration.
The scam mail carrying the sensational news entices directs Internet users to malicious websites that look almost identical to the official Obama campaign site.
Security experts have warned that the fake website includes downloadable files that can infect the user's computer.
"Clearly, there is a significant public interest in an event as historic and anticipated as this and the spammers are exploiting it," news.com.au quoted Phil Hay, of security firm Marshal8e6, as saying.
"These headlines are designed to catch recipients by shocking them," he added.
Symantec analysts have revealed that the subject line of such e-mails carries titles like 'Breaking News', 'You must look at this!", 'What is going on with our country?', etc.
"Symantec's Threat Intelligence team analysed a new wave of malicious spam messages with a 'Presidential theme' that found their way into one of our vast number of global sensors," said a post on the company's blog.
The company warned that the imitation campaign sites might be carrying some malicious files that may allow their makers access to the user's computer, or harvest information from it.
The creators of the Storm worm, one of the most famous malicious programs of recent years, are being thought to be behind the inauguration scam.
"We advise caution and suggest that email users avoid clicking on any news links relating to Mr Obama's inauguration sent to them via email, especially if the email seems sensational or unbelievable," Hay said.
"If you do make the mistake of clicking on one of these links, avoid downloading anything," he added.
A post on Marshal8e6's TRACE blog said that the fake sites might have domain names such as "greatobamaonline.com" and "superobamadirect.com". (ANI)