Formula One star Fernando Alonso is being used by banking cybercriminals who claim to have footage of him being seriously injured in a car crash.


Spam emails containing bogus reports that are said to be from Spanish daily newspaper El Pais, say Alonso was badly hurt in an accident near Bilbao. The messages link to a so-called amateur recording of the collision and blaze.


Panda Security has, however, discovered that the link delivers a banking trojan that targets one of Spain's largest banks, which also happens to be one of Alonso's sponsors in previous seasons. The bug, Banker-LGC, is similar to one distributed recently claiming that a third world war had begun – this tried to install a Gaobot worm.


This latest spam incident is one of many that rely on sensational ‘news' to get the unwary to download malware, and is becoming more common as people increasingly rely on computers for banking and shopping.


Dominic Hoskins, country manager, Panda Security, said: “A banking trojan wrapped up in a story involving a Formula One star during the peak of the Grand Prix season bears a high probability of success. There are many devoted fans out there whose curiosity might drive them to fall for the trick in a rash moment.”