Computer hackers have launched an image spam campaign that claims to offer cut price versions of Microsoft's Vista, security experts warn.
The spam, which uses a graphic embedded in an email rather than regular text, claims to offer reduced price editions of the new operating system. The email states that the recipient can save around £150 by downloading the software.
Security professionals are unsure whether the spam message enables users to purchase pirated versions of the product or is part of a phishing scam.
"This widespread spam campaign carries all the hallmarks of a typical image spam," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "The growth of image spam is one of the security stories of the year. It's worrying just how poorly educated people are about web and email threats. System administrators and security geeks know about informative websites, but the average man in the street hasn't got a clue."