Email scams are a common way to spread malware and/or steal personal information. Some great guidelines to help you protect yourself from such scams are outlined here: 
We have recently found out about the latest in an ongoing string of email scams that target Microsoft customers. This particular scam contains the Backdoor:Win32/Haxdoor trojan as an attachment. We have seen a few emails targeting Microsoft customers that look like the email below:
Dear Microsoft Customer,
Please notice that Microsoft company has recently issued a Security Update for OS Microsoft Windows. The update applies to the following OS versions: Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Millenium, Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista.
Please notice, that present update applies to high-priority updates category. In order to help protect your computer against security threats and performance problems, we strongly recommend you to install this update.
Since public distribution of this Update through the official website would have result in efficient creation of a malicious software, we made a decision to issue an experimental private version of an update for all Microsoft Windows OS users.
As your computer is set to receive notifications when new updates are available, you have received this notice.
In order to start the update, please follow the step-by-step instruction:
1. Run the file, that you have received along with this message.
2. Carefully follow all the instructions you see on the screen.
If nothing changes after you have run the file, probably in the settings of your OS you have an indication to run all the updates at a background routine. In that case, at this point the upgrade of your OS will be finished.
We apologize for any inconvenience this back order may be causing you.
Thank you,

Steve Lipner
Director of Security Assurance
Microsoft Corp.
Please delete this email immediately and do not open the attachment. If you received this email and have already opened the attachment, please scan your computer with an anti-malware product. You're welcome to use the Live OneCare safety scanner online if you don't have malware protection. In addition we encourage you to submit any suspicious files to the MMPC team for analysis by following the instructions outlined here: For more information, you can also take a look at the MSRC blog post on this issue.
If your Microsoft systems have been affected by malware and you need help, you can find out how to get virus-related assistance from Microsoft here:
- Monilee Atkinson