A new round of holiday-themed spam scams is circulating, luring unwary Internet users with tempting ‘major brand’ offers.

Internet security companies WebSense and McAfee have both reported e-mail attacks using bogus ‘special holiday offers’ from major brands to mask the delivery of malicious code which, when installed on a victim’s computer, turns it into a base to broadcast more spams to other unsuspecting users.

The security companies say to be suspicious of unsolicited e-mails from McDonalds, Hallmark and Coca Cola offering coupons, contests or special deals over the holidays. The e-mails apparently use brand logos and other images taken directly from the legitimate Web sites of the brands in question.

The security specialists recommend that users protect themselves by simply not opening attachments on unsolicited e-mails and keep their computers’ security measures up-to-date.

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