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Peephole Video

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By Suzanne Choneymsnbc.comupdated 3:52 p.m.

ET July 20, 2009Suzanne Choney• E-mailA video that shows popular ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews in the nude in a hotel room made its way onto several Web sites and may contain a link to a virus in a Trojan horse that could be downloaded by users.If so, it would be the second time in recent weeks where a celebrity's name was used to pique user interest and distribute malware, software that is malicious.

After Michael Jackson's July 7 memorial service, spammers sent out e-mails with links to photos of the service.

The link asked users to first click on a downloadable file, and if they did so, that allowed malware onto the user's computer.The Andrews video — which her attorney and ESPN have protested — was pulled from sites in the past few days where it was known to have been posted, including YouTube and NSFW POA.

Still, as of today, users were searching the Internet for the video.

Story continues below â†"advertisement | your ad here"There are lots more sites out there pretending to host the Erin Andrews peephole video, but really hosting malicious software," said Graham Cluley of anti-virus software maker Sophos on a company blog."Hackers have created Web pages claiming to contain the notorious ...

video in their attempt to infect Mac and Windows computers," he wrote."And — surprise, surprise — if you visit those Web pages you could be putting the security of your computer at real risk." Users, he said, may see a message that says something like, "Your popup blocker has blocked access to the Video Player.

To view your video, please launch the Live Video Player below." Nate Solberg, of Nordic PC, said it's when users click on such links that a virus can be unleashed."A Trojan horse is the method of delivery.

You think you're downloading something useful, but it turns out to have a surprise," he said.

"The payload can be pretty much anything.

Most popular these days are botnets, which can take control of your machine and use it for denial-of-service attacks against other Web sites, or to house pornography or distribute files illegally."If users are asked to click on a link to download or update a video player in order to see photos or a video, Solberg suggests they instead go to the site of the video player company to get the link from the company itself "to make sure you're getting the real thing."If you do that, then go back to download a video and it still says you don't have the latest version, you know there's something fishy going on," he said.Meanwhile, both Andrews' attorney and ESPN were making it clear they found nothing amusing about the videotape's release, and will pursue legal action against the person or persons who took the footage.David Pahl, ESPN's general counsel, said in a written statement to at least one Web site that "These pictures were obviously taken through a peephole or otherwise in a fashion constituting a trespass/assault on the rights of the woman involved.

"Your continued posting of these pictures are highly likely to render you an accessory after the fact to a criminal act.

We hereby demand that you (i) immediately remove these pictures from your site and (ii) disclose to us the source of the pictures.

We intend to hold you fully responsible for further display of material that so obviously violates the law."Andrews' attorney, Marshall B.

Grossman, said the commentator is working with police on the case, and was a "victim of a crime.""While alone in the privacy of her hotel room, Erin Andrews was surreptitiously videotaped without her knowledge or consent," he said in a statement.

She is "taking action to protect herself and help ensure that others are not similarly violated in the future.

Click for related contentFacebook has serious privacy gaps, Canada saysWeb site publishes hacked Twitter informationCybercriminals attacking MS Office users"Although the perpetrator or perpetrators of this criminal act have not yet been identified, when they are identified she intends to bring both civil and criminal charges against them and against anyone who has published the material." A spokesman for ESPN said Monday the network released this statement: "Erin has been grievously wronged here.

Our people and resources are in full support of her as she deals with this abhorrent act." © 2009 ReprintsDiscuss Story On Newsvine Rate Story:View popularLowHighEmailInstant MessagePrint MORE FROM SECURITY Security Section Front Erin Andrews nude video may have virus linkU.S.

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