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Valentine's Day Attacks Not So Sweet

Hoping for an online card for Valentine's Day? Maybe even a sweet e-mail?

If so, then you, and the millions just like you, need to beware of a batch of spam e-mail messages and viruses that are hitting the wild, looking to take advantage of the traditional romantic holiday.

Spammers are trying to lure users to open their e-mails with subject lines offering up jewelry, chocolate, and lingerie, according to researchers at security software firm Sophos. Engineers at Panda Software are issuing their own warning: The Valentine's Day holiday is bringing out new viruses, such as the Nurech.A worm. Nurech.A appeared in the wild last week and has rated an "orange virus alert," which is one of the higher threat alerts at Panda.

"As Valentine's Day approaches this year, we are already seeing a proliferation of computer threats," said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, in a written statement. "All kinds of spam and new viruses are expected to join the viruses currently circulating using this lure. As a general rule, don't open any suspicious e-mail, regardless of what it says it contains."

Holidays and big events, like Valentine's and the Super Bowl, are prime lures for fraudulent spammers, who are always looking for new ways to tease users into opening their mail and infecting their computers or stealing their personal information. The best example, according to PandaLabs, is the now infamous and Valentine's Day-related LoveLetter virus, which caused one of the biggest epidemics in computer history.

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