With every major worldwide event – be it a disaster like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, or the death of a celebrity or dictator – cyber-criminals are now looking to immediately cash in on curious surfers.
When the Japanese quake hit, that was a prime chance for low-lives around the world to strike with fake donation pages.
When Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse died, promises of revelations of exactly how they passed away lured people to click through to malware bearing pages.
As security firm BitDefender points out on its malware blog, there have even been scams which have announced fake celebrity deaths to lure folks into clicking on links. Material such as “Lady Gaga found dead in hotel room” may prove irresistible to large droves of unwise surfers.
So it isn’t surprising, then, that following another major world event – the death of Colonel Gadaffi – there are scams on the loose which are aiming to profit from the affair.
Unlike many scams – Osama’s non-existent death video, for example – it is known that graphic footage does exist online regarding Gadaffi’s death. Bits of it have been shown on the national news, of course, with his limp and bloodied body being paraded around streets.
So the fake malware bearing video links are quite likely to get even more attention and click mileage, given more credence by this knowledge.
Just be warned that there are plenty of cyber-ne’er-do-wells who are aware of this fact, so there will be plenty of scam material out there by now.
Our advice: we wouldn’t bother with any online video claiming to show Gadaffi’s demise or graphic footage of his body in some form. Is it really worth the risk of getting hit with malware?
Be especially aware that there’s a known email scam going round at the moment, with mails claiming to have “AFP Photo News” pictures of Gadaffi’s bloodied corpse. A file is attached which carries a malware payload.
As always, be very careful what you click on, particularly after major news events these days, with cyber-crooks increasingly looking to exploit public curiosity online.