By Mel Duvall, Chief Content Officer at CIOZone

Nov 1 2009 - Forget about vampires, ghouls and zombies. You were much more likely to receive a fright this year from something lurking in your e-mail.

Just in time for Halloween, security software vendor Proofpoint has come up with a list of the Top 10 Terrifying E-mail Blunders of 2009.

There were the usual crop of Trojan horses and phishing expeditions, but as the surprising list points out, some of the scares go all the way up to White House and the FBI.

In no particular order, here are the top 10 according to Proofpoint.

Trojan Horse Empties Bank Accounts

In September, it was reported that a banking Trojan horse, dubbed URLZone, had thwarted fraud detection systems, to enable software to actually steal money while users are logged in to their accounts and display a fake balance.

Victims' computers were infected either by clicking on a malicious link in an e-mail or visiting a Web site that had been compromised with hidden malware.

FBI Forgery

The wife of FBI director Robert Mueller banned him from online banking after he nearly fell for a phishing scam.

Mueller received a seemingly legitimate e-mail from what he thought was his bank, which prompted him to verify some information.

He went as far as filling out some of his personal information before realizing it was a scam. Mueller half-joked to the Commonwealth Club of California that his wife banned him from Internet banking.

White House Adopts Spammer Tactics

In August, the White House e-mailed thousands of messages to Americans detailing its stance on the contentious issue of healthcare reform from an e-mail account created to gather and dispel rumors, but some recipients claimed the messages were unsolicited.

The White House acknowledged the unsolicited e-mail and blamed third-party groups for the mass mailing, but the damage was done.

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