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updated 8/24/2009 12:33:05 PM ET 2009-08-24T16:33:05

Homeland Security officials are warning that some e-mails purporting to be from the department's intelligence division were fake and contained malicious software.

The e-mails actually originated from Internet addresses in Latvia and Russia, according to a brief alert from the Homeland Security Department's counterintelligence unit the department said, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press.

The Homeland Security Department has sent the warning to the Defense Department and state and local officials after receiving complaints about the e-mails since June. The e-mails were made to look as if they had actual text from a department intelligence assessment. They included links embedded with malware known for stealing banking data protected passwords.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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