Celebrity deaths prime targets for spammers

Jun 30, 2009 8:57 AM
Filed under Security

The deaths of three iconic American stars, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, are prime targets for spammers and malicious code authors, said security vendor, Symantec.

Internet users should expect to see a flurry of threats seeking to play upon the emotions and curiosity of the public around these events.

Symantec said it has already observed spam that appears to be a spoof on CNN, containing a link to a malicious Web page.

Users that click on the link will be redirected to a page that prompts users to download and run a file on a fake Flash Player, which actually installs malicious code.   

Symantec expects to see additional spam as attackers seek to take further advantage of these tragedies.

Some of the online tactics anticipated are; spam with subject lines related to any of these deaths trying to peddle fake medicines; spam with subject lines related to any of these deaths leading to misleading applications, such as fake antivirus software; search engine poisoning campaigns injecting malicious sites into the top search engine results related to any of these deaths.

The vendor said sites claiming to host videos of the last moments of these individuals' lives, actually peddle fake goods or malware; links to fake videos of these stars that actually attempt to infect users with malware; social networking site messages related to these deaths that could link to malware such as W32.Koobface; and twitter tweets about these deaths with links to all sorts of malicious Web sites.


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Celebrity deaths prime targets for spammers
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