Following the tragic events in Oslo, Norway where at least 80 people are dead as a result of a shooting rampage, and seven others killed after a bomb exploded in government offices, cybercriminals are already capitalizing on the tragedy.
Researchers from Websense Security Labs told SecurityWeek they are seeing an alarming number of Facebook scams already taking advantage of the tragedy. According to Websense, a ‘clickjacking’ attack that replicates itself on users’ walls after they click on fake posts within their news feed is spreading at a rate of one user every second.
“This Facebook scam is unfortunate, but a very real threat,” said Patrik Runald, senior manager of security research, Websense. “Criminals know how to take advantage of disasters and the hottest news items to get people to click on infected links. Tragedy is just one type of news that the bad guys use to exploit, compromise and infect your computer. Videos are an especially popular lure; we saw the same thing when Osama bin Laden died and when Casey Anthony was acquitted. During times of crisis or breaking news, your best bet is to stick with the largest news organizations you trust. Avoid the potentially dangerous halls of search engines and social media sites, which are more susceptible to compromise.”
As always, users should be cautious when clicking on breaking news trends and stories within search results related to the Oslo tragedy. Websense Security Labs have found that searching for breaking trends and current news represented a higher risk (22.4%) than searching for objectionable content (21.8%), including pornography.
Users should be especially cautious around this event, especially when searching for photos or videos. Cybercriminals typically use very attractive headlines to encourage users to click links and direct them to malware infected Web pages. Be cautious, and don't assume links and videos posted by friends on social networking sites are safe.