Hackers are using hoax parking tickets planted on vehicles in the US as a way of spreading malicious computer viruses.

According to security experts, the traffic violation tickets were placed on cars, directed the recipients to a website that claims to ave photographic evidence of the alleged violation. Web users are encouraged to download a toolbar to find the images of their vehicle.

However, the toolbar installs the Vundo Trojan, which in turn in stalls a fake virus scanner on to a PC.

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"The initial program installed itself as a browser helper object (BHO) for Internet Explorer that downloaded a component from childhe.com and attempted to trick the victim into installing a fake anti-virus scanner from bestantispyware securityscan.com and protectionsoft warecheck.com," said SANS anti-virus analyst Lenny Zeltser on a blog.

Zlester said he thought it was the first-time hackers had resulted to scams that covered both the web and the real-world.

"Attackers continue to come up with creative ways of tricking potential victims into installing malicious software. Merging physical and virtual worlds via objects that point to websites is one way to do this. I imagine we'll be seeing such approaches more often," he said.

See also: Hackers using e-ticket email to spread malware