Internet Scammers Ride Swine Flu's Coattails

Swine flu fears are gripping the world — and, true to form, e-mail spammers and scammers are seizing the opportunity to make a quick and dirty buck.

"Salma Hayek caught swine flu!" warns one e-mail cited by McAfee Avert Labs.

Another directs you to a Web site ,, which offers to sell you a "Swine Flu Survival Guide" for $19.95 — credit cards and PayPal accepted.

"You are not getting what you think you are buying," McAfee director of research Dave Marcus told Reuters.

Finnish security firm F-Secure finds dozens of swine flu-related domain names being registered in the past week, including That one was created Saturday by someone who wishes to remain anonymous, according to Network Solutions.

It's possible full-on viruses might be created around the swine-flu scare, since malware writers frequently piggyback on public interest. But none have appeared yet.

As for "," it was created way back in March 2000, according to public records. But it now redirects to a placeholder site called "" — which itself was first registered last Thursday.

• Click here to read a good synopsis in the Washington Post.

• Click here to visit's Cybersecurity Center.

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