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Hackers Using Snowden’s Book to Steal Financial Data, Install Viruses: Report

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Hackers are using former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s latest book to steal financial data and install viruses on victims’ computers, according to a malware company’s analysis.

A spam email that includes what looks like an attachment of Snowden’s “Permanent Record” claims the book has been banned and encourages recipients to download, read and share it, according to Bloomberg, citing internet security company Malwarebytes Inc.

Once viewers try to download the book, which details Snowden’s work in the CIA and NSA, a link pops up that — if clicked — downloads malware onto users’ devices to steal financial data or install viruses, Bloomberg reported.

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“It’s going to be pretty effective, especially since people might be tempted to open up the book for free,” Malwarebytes Director if Threat Intelligence Jerome Segura told Bloomberg. “This one maybe more than others because it’s a smarter social engineering trick.”

The Department of Homeland Security called the specific type of malware used in the email called Emotet “among the most destructive malware” on the internet.

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The U.S. government sued Snowden on Sept. 17 for failing to submit his book to the NSA for review before publishing, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

The former government contractor sought political asylum in Russia after the U.S. government charged him in June 2013 with theft of government secrets and violating the Espionage Act.

“We will not permit individuals to enrich themselves, at the expense of the United States, without complying with their pre-publication review obligations,” Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt said when he announced the lawsuit.

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