Blogs » Digital Babble » Tech bytes: Fake CDC e-mail contains malware, top words of 2009


Malware scam

If you have received an e-mail that claims to be from the CDC, be on alert.

The e-mail appears to come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, with a message asking recipients to create a profile for an H1N1 vaccination program. However, according to security provider AppRiver this is a malware scam.


More here from

The fake alert informs recipients that as part of a "State Vaccination H1N1 Program" they need to create a profile on the CDC Web site. The link in the e-mail goes to a fake CDC page where the visitor is assigned a temporary ID and a link to a vaccination profile that is actually an an executable file containing a copy of the Kryptik Trojan targeting Windows, according to an AppRiver blog post on Tuesday.

Once installed, "this Trojan will create a security-free gateway on your system and will proceed to download and install additional malware without your authorization," the post warns. "It also enables a remote hacker to take complete control of your computer. This malware can log your typed keystrokes and send confidential personal and financial data (including banking information, credit card numbers, and website passwords) to a remote hacker."

According to the entry on, these e-mails are spreading fast. AppRiver reported it was seeing the fake CDC e-mails at a rate of nearly 18,000 messages per minute. [Source:]

Most popular word of 2009

The most popular word of 2009 is: Twitter

That's right folks, the name of the social media tool that asks you to describe what you are doing in 140 characters or less topped the list of most popular words for 2009. These results come from The Global Language Monitor, the company that conducted the annual global survey of the English language.

“In a year dominated by world-shaking political events, a pandemic, the after effects of a financial tsunami and the death of a revered pop icon, the word Twitter stands above all the other words. Twitter represents a new form of social interaction, where all communication is reduced to 140 characters,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. “Being limited to strict formats did wonders for the sonnet and haiku. One wonders where this highly impractical word-limit will lead as the future unfolds.” [Source: Global Language Monitor]

Other words on the list: