With all the publicity of Bin Laden’s death, especially with the possible release of some of the death photos, it should come as no surprise that malware hackers are taking advantage of this phenomenon. While the US Government is still debating on whether to release the photos or not, hackers have made it a point to announce that recipients of e-mail can indeed view the photos.
But watch out.
As was reported earlier today (05-04-11) by a CBS affiliate, hackers are using the incident to spread malware. Here is what is happening, hackers and scammers are using emails and links that promise users to view those pictures; but the goal of the hackers is to try to infect your computer. Apparently enough of this is going around that the FBI says these emails could even appear to come from your friends, claiming to show either photos of bin Laden dead or a video of his death. But don’t buy into it. It’s actually a virus or malware that could steal personal information or cause your entire system to crash.
The malware is so bad that officials are also warning that Internet searches can direct you to sites with malware or virus. And the bad links are also popping up on Facebook and other social media.
Two things need to be clear. Until the US government releases the photos, and there is an ongoing debate about this don’t assume that someone has picked up the photos and you can view them. If they are released, you will know about it from legitimate new sources, not blogs. Check www.refdesk.com for information as it comes out.
Secondly, this is a good time to check your malware anti-virus software and make sure that it is up to date. And don’t be fooled by e-mails from friends or acquaintances. Apparently social engineering is now a big way of getting viruses into PC’s.