updated 4/26/2012 4:51:36 PM ET 2012-04-26T20:51:36

North Korea's recent rocket launch was a spectacular failure, but it provided cybercriminals with all the artillery they needed.

Since the botched April 13 launch of what North Korea claimed was an observation satellite, emails have been found with an attached Microsoft Word document titled, "North Korea satellite launch eclipses that of Iran.doc," according to TrendMicro researchers.

North Korea launched the rocket at 7:38 a.m. local time; 90 seconds later, it exploded and fell into the Yellow Sea. Western observers suspect the real aim of the launch was to test an intercontinental ballistic missile.

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The rigged Word document found by TrendMicro is not a report on the rocket, but instead is a backdoor Trojan, "Bkdr_Poison.doc," capable of harvesting screengrabs and audio files, logging keystrokes, opening programs and searching files on infected computers and sending that sensitive information to a remote command-and-control server.

It's also able to drop additional dangerous malware  onto compromised computers. The Trojan, Trend Micro explained, exploits a critical Microsoft Office vulnerability to gain access to computers.

Protect your identity and keep your computer out of harm's way by watching what you click. Attached documents, especially ones about major global and political stories, provide cybercriminals with effective ways to hide their weapons inside legitimate-looking emails. Make sure you keep your computer's defenses intact with a strong anti-virus solution.

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