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Threat Bulletin: Celebrity Deaths and What to Expect in Cyberspace

Following is a update from the Symantec Security Response blog regarding the wave of malicious activity that has been observed around the high profile deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. Please let us know if you would like to speak with a Symantec spokesperson.
  • 29 June, 2009 13:43

<p>Last week saw the deaths of three iconic American stars: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson. As always, events like these seem to be prime targets for spammers and malicious code authors. Internet users should expect to see a flurry of threats seeking to play upon the emotions and curiosity of the public around these events. For example, Symantec 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.</p>
<p>Symantec expects to see additional spam as attackers seek to take further advantage of these tragedies. Some of the online tactics anticipated are:</p>
<p>Spam with subject lines related to any of these deaths trying to peddle fake medicines</p>
<p>Spam with subject lines related to any of these deaths leading to misleading applications, such as fake antivirus software</p>
<p>Search engine poisoning campaigns injecting malicious sites into the top search engine results related to any of these deaths</p>
<p>Sites claiming to host videos of the last moments of these individuals’ lives, but actually peddling fake goods or malware</p>
<p>Links to fake videos of these stars that actually attempt to infect users with malware</p>
<p>Social networking site messages related to these deaths that could link to malware such as W32.Koobface</p>
<p>Twitter tweets about these deaths with links to all sorts of malicious Web sites
If you are looking for news, videos, pictures or any information regarding these individuals and their lives, Symantec recommends that you only visit sites you’re familiar with and trust. Don’t click on every link you see related to the story and always keep your security solutions up-to-date.</p>
<p>###</p>
<p>Media Contact:</p>
<p>Jasmin Athwal</p>
<p>Max Australia</p>
<p>+61 2 9954 3492</p>
<p>jasmin.athwal@maxaustralia.com.au</p>

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