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    As the U.S. presidential elections near, online scammers are taking advantage of the candidates’ popularity. Trend Micro Content Security team’s spam filters recently caught the following email message, which asks recipients to participate in a survey for the Democratic Party nominee in exchange for $500 worth of gas gift cards:

    Users who clicked the button to answer the poll get redirected to the following Web page, which is not in any way related to any survey:

    The Web page above uses the legitimate domain smileycentral.com and is related to the software Webfetti, a search toolbar program. It offers services to users to personalize their Web sites, supposedly for free. When users click the Always Free button, though, they are asked to install a file disguised as an ActiveX control object:


    Trend Micro detects the file as ADW_MYWEBSEARCH. The adware automatically executes when systems start up. Other malware may also use some of its functionalities for their malicious routines.

    The Trend Micro Smart Protection Network already protects users from the spammed message and from ADW_MYWEBSEARCH. We always tell users to be cautious of unwanted messages in their inboxes. Offers that look too good to be true probably are.





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