The authors of Nuwar – also known as the Storm worm – are exploiting the escalating political tensions between the US and Iran to encourage users to download the malware, according to McAfee Avert Labs.
The security firm has warned people to be wary of emails with the headers 'The beginning of World War III' and 'USA declares war on Iran'. The emails promise to link to a video showing the beginning of World War III, but clicking on the link actually triggers an automatic download of the file 'iran_occupation.exe'. McAfee said.
The Storm worm was first detected in January 2007, but has reappeared in various guises several times over the past 18 months.
The malware has been used in a confirmation spam scam and has been employed in blogs and web message forums. It also hit the headlines in April when malware makers gave it an April Fool's Day theme.