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Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden death used to spread computer viruses

Online security specialists are warning that the death of Osama Bin Laden, like other major news events such as the tsunami in Japan, is being used to spread computer viruses and other “malware,” hidden behind links that pretend to contain information or photos about the attack.

“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,” wrote Mike Lennon in Security Week.

“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.”

– DAVID BROOKS