IDG News Service - The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation warned computer users Tuesday that messages claiming to include photos and videos of Osama bin Laden's death actually contain a virus that could steal personal information.
The warning comes as security companies said that they've spotted the first samples of malicious software disguised as photos of the dead Al Qaeda leader.
Security vendor F-Secure said Tuesday that criminals are e-mailing a password-stealing Trojan horse program called Banload to victims, and Symantec said it's seen criminals spamming victims with links to fake "Osama dead" news articles that launch Web-based attacks on visitors.
U.S. authorities do have photos of bin Laden, who was shot in the head during an early morning raid Monday in Pakistan. But these photos have not been released publicly.
Scammers have also used a technique called search engine poisoning to try to trick search engines into listing hacked Web pages that are loaded with malware in their search results. "It's unlikely you'll find pictures or videos of Bin Laden's death online -- but searching for one will certainly take you to sites with malware," wrote F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hyponnen in a blog post.
The FBI warned Internet users to watch out for fake messages on social network sites and to never download software in order to view a video. "Read e-mails you receive carefully. Fraudulent messages often feature misspellings, poor grammar, and non-standard English," the FBI warning stated.
As a major international news event, bin Laden's death has shown the amazing way information can spread online. Many learned of the terrorist leader's death through Twitter, where the story first broke, or Facebook. But it also underscores how the unfiltered media can quickly spread bad information worldwide.
Security experts said that shady marketers and so-called rogue antivirus vendors have also jumped on the bin Laden bandwagon. The rogue antivirus software bombards victims with pop-up messages telling them they have a computer problem. Its aim: to nag them into paying for bogus software.
Shady marketers are spreading messages on Facebook that try to lure victims into spreading the message to friends and visiting marketing Web sites, by claiming they have a censored video.
- Improving IT Efficiencies: Four Advantages of Multi-Tenant Data Centers Increasing demands on IT are forcing organizations to rethink their data center options. For many organizations, that means turning to the flexibility afforded...
- Accelerating Cloud Deployment and Operations with Managed Services Companies that do not have sufficient in-house expertise to either deploy or maintain an IaaS cloud should turn to Managed Service Providers .
- Rethinking IT Operations in the Cloud This paper breaks down the challenges that often prevent the cloud from delivering the fast, flexible and affordable infrastructure companies seek - and...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting, North America Cloud-enabled managed hosting brings cloudlike consumption and provisioning attributes to the traditional managed hosting market
- Live Webcast How to serve up a Grand Slam with a scalable IT Infrastructure for cloud, big data and advanced analytics Register today to attend this webcast, and see examples of how The U.S. Tennis Association, Wimbledon and U.S. Golf Association are using the...
- Live Webcast Security Vulnerabilities Associated With Having Local Administrator Privileges Viewfinity will demonstrate how removing admin rights and granularly managing privileges at the application level reduces the attack surface.
- Live Webcast IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Topic Center White Papers | Webcasts