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Cybercriminals Using Osama Bin Laden’s Death to Spread Malware

Today we have another major news event for cybercriminals to take advantage of. Following the successful operation by U.S. forces to kill Osama bin Laden, Internet users are searching in the masses for any details about the incident they can find. Cybercriminals know this and have already been at work to “poison” common search results hoping to gain access to people’s computers and infect them with malware.

Today we have another major news event for cybercriminals to take advantage of. Following the successful operation by U.S. forces to kill Osama bin Laden, Internet users are searching in the masses for any details about the incident they can find. Cybercriminals know this and have already been at work to “poison” common search results hoping to gain access to people’s computers and infect them with malware.

Malware AlertPopular events are always something cybercriminals use to their advantage, helping them prey on and exploit innocent victims.

Links are already beginning to spread across Facebook, similar to what happened following news of the recent earthquake in Japan. Users should be cautious of spam containing links to photos, videos and other information that sounds remarkably interesting on Bin Laden’s death. Users also need to be cautious of Tweets through Twitter, and Facebook posts, as cybercriminals gear up to attract unsuspecting traffic to spread malware.

In this situation, when users click on a link to a malicious site and reach the infected Web page, they are prompted to accept the download of a file, such as a codec to watch a video, and the malware will be installed on the computers.

Users should be especially cautious around this event, since no official photos have been released of Bin Laden’s body after his death was reported, thus users may be inclined to search more on their own to see if photos or videos are available. 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.

Read More on Cybercrime in SecurityWeek’s Cybercrime Section

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Written By

For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.

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