Hackers are sending hoax emails from brand name companies such as Apple, Google and Starbucks that claim to contain official contracts in a bid to spread malicious viruses, says Sophos.

According to the security company, a number of web users have received emails that look as though they might be from big name companies. The emails include an attachment called 'New_Contract.zip', which is actually a dangerous Trojan.

If downloaded and opened, it will infect the user's PC and possibly even steal personal data that could be used in identity theft.

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"It is curiosity which the cybercriminals are depending on in order to infect your computer, and potentially steal information, resources and money from you," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

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