Michael Jackson’s Death = Spam and Malware Attacks
Major internet security companies are warning that we can expect a spam deluge following Michael Jackson’s death. The death of a popular star always brings the crooks out of the woodwork.
An article in Computerworld confirms within hours after news broke about Jackson, England-based Sophos, started tracking the first wave of Jackson spam, which used a subject line of “Confidential — Michael Jackson.” The spam wasn’t pitching a product or leading users to a phishing or malware Web site. Instead it was trying to dupe users into replying to the message in order to collect e-mail addresses and verify them as legitimate.
An announcement from Symantec states: “Symantec Security Response has discovered a mass-mailing worm using Michael Jackson’s death as a bait. The worm sends out spam emails with the subject “Remembering Michael Jackson” and an attachment named “Michael songs and pictures.zip.” The .zip file contains another file called “MichaelJacksonsongsandpictures.doc.exe,” which is a copy of the worm that is executed on the user’s machine when the file is opened. Symantec has detection for this worm as W32.Ackantta.F@mm. It is important to keep in mind that W32.Ackantta.@mm spreads not only through email, but also via removable drives using autorun.inf.”
Below is a snapshot of the email that W32.Ackantta.F@mm sends out:
Graham Cluley, a Sophos senior technology consultant, said that spammers and hackers have done Jackson before. Several years ago they pitched a breaking news story, claiming that he had attempted suicide.
”We saw this after Pope John Paul II died,” said Cluley. “Spammers sent out messages saying they were selling things like a tribute DVD, and, of course, asked for credit card details. You may never have gotten a DVD, but they had your credit card.”
PC World indicated that at least one site was found to be installing a virus that effectively locks down your PC, terminating most any application before Windows is able to open it. Programs installing spyware and even the Koobface virus have also been observed.
So, if you are hungry for more input about the untimely demise of a famous figure, please stay with legitimate sources. And, no – Michael was not abducted by aliens!