Spammers and cybercriminals are exploiting fears over swine flu to peddle counterfeit drugs and steal credit card details, internet security firms have warned.
Millions of spam e-mails are flooding the internet, sending recipients to fake online pharmacies or enticing users to click on links leading to malicious software.
McAfee, one of the leading security software makers, said that its laboratories had detected a spike in swine-flu spam only a couple of days after the news of the spread of the disease broke.
Spammers, who remotely control millions of infected machines, are using them to send out e-mails with subject lines aimed at enticing users to click through. These have included: "First US swine flu victims!", "Salma Hayek caught swine flu!", "Swine flu in Hollywood!" and "Madonna caught swine flu!".