Spam and scams emerge in wake of Steve Jobs’ death

Following the death of Apple's ex-CEO, cybercriminals attempt to cash in
Kerry Butters
Kerry Butters -

Steve Jobs

Cybercriminals are once again making the most out of sad news, as a spate of scams and spam has emerged in the wake of the death of Apple’s Steve Jobs.

The first to emerge, just hours following his death, was a Facebook scam that promised Apple was planning on giving away 1000 free iPads in memory of the Apple founder.

Whilst the claim does sound very suspect, Trend Micro say that people are obviously falling for it as their figures show an increasing number of posts which bear the dodgy website’s URL.

The scam post says that if a user shares the link with their friends, they could win one of the devices.

When clicked it takes users to an external site and posts the link on their wall.

There is, of course, no such offer from Apple and the links point to advertisements which the crooks can make money from.

“Also, as more users share the link, the number of potential victims also increases, along with the profit of the scammers behind the ruse,” Trend points out.

They go on to say that this kind of social engineering has become commonplace in the wake of tragedies such as the death of Amy Winehouse.

It has also become common for scams and fraudulent sites to pop up within hours of a natural disaster, such as the Japanese tsunami.

Spam relating to Steve Jobs has also been found, some claiming that he is still alive and asking users to click on a link for proof.

At the moment, all of the spam messages that have been found direct users to a blank site.

However, as Trend points out, “a blank page is rarely ever truly blank, and is often a sign that something else is happening in the background, away from the view of the user.”

This particular site “had previously contained a script that loads the BlackHole exploit kit.”

Trend continues to monitor the site and have included the site in their block list through the Smart Protection Network.

The security expert advises that whilst this kind of spam is generally decreasing, it is “still regularly used for malicious schemes.”

“Attacks that involve spam rely heavily on social engineering techniques, as well as more advanced methods that render IP blacklisting and content filtering insufficient,” Trend warned.

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