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Hackers and Scammers Use World Events to Spread Malware

Osama Bin Laden's death is the most recent example of hackers taking advantage of our curiosity about world events to spread malware.

Computerworld magazine reported on May 3, 2011 that users should steer clear of spam e-mails that claim to contain photos of Bin Laden after he was shot and killed by U.S. special forces. Some attachments to these e-mails have been found to contain a Trojan that will sniff out online banking sessions and then try to redirect payments to other accounts.

There has also been a campaign convince both Windows and Mac users to download fake security software to by using unethical tactics to promote malicious URLS to high spots in Google search rankings of Osama Bin Laden. Anyone using these links is advised, with popups and alerts, that their computer is infected; and that they should download security software to correct the problem.

Scams are also spreading on Facebook as well with users being invited to watch an exclusive CNN video; or to celebrate his death with free products. (Osama Bin Laden Spam/Ads on Facebook) These convince users to link to a customized URL and enter personal information or post comments to get to the advertised information or products. What the scammers get is your information.

IT Services is reminding everyone to never respond to unsolicited invitations no matter how interesting or appealing. You should go directly to legitimate news sources and software vendors. Type in the URL or use saved bookmarks.

(Hacker information summarized from Computerworld's May 3, 2011 article by Gregg Keizer)

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