Cyber criminals are using the promise of videos of US presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama to infect PCs across the world with dangerous malware, according to Webroot.

The security software vendor said an outbreak of such files has been found on the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) file sharing network Gnutella, which can be accessed by clients such as LimeWire and FrostWire. If users download and open these files, malware such as password stealers, remote-access backdoors and rogue antivirus applications will be installed on their PC.

"P2P networks pose some of the greatest security risks on internet. Because P2P networks lack the security measures found in enterprise networks or trusted websites, users of these networks may put themselves or their companies at increased risk by downloading malicious content or leaking confidential data," said Paul Piccard, director, Threat Research, Webroot.