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Cyber Criminals Using Osama Bin Laden Themed E-mails to Spread Virus

According to security researchers, a five-year old (2004) computer virus using the Osama Bin Laden theme is still entering users' inboxes.

In July 2004, an e-mail claiming to offer links pointing to pictures of a suicide attempt by Bin Laden was profusely spammed to mailboxes of various newsgroups. But the links tricked the users into downloading the Backdoor.Hacarmy.D on their computers instead of showing the pictures. Again during June 2005, the Trojan reappeared with an e-mail similarly themed while pretending to display photos of seize and subsequent arrest of Bin Laden supposedly taken from news movies to be compressed and sent through a .ZIP attachment. The attachment in reality hosted a variant of Psyme Trojan.

The latest version of the Osama Bin Laden-based virus surfaced in January 2009 when McAfee a security software provider warned computer users to avoid clicking on any e-mail that carried the caption "Osama Hanged" or "Osama-bin-Laden Captured".

The e-mails, according to McAfee, are sent worldwide, but most of them were sent to Israel and the US. In particular, e-mail users in California's Beaumont area were warned against opening of messages carrying the said captions when they informed of receiving the same.

Meanwhile, to show that the new virus is spreading continuously, McAfee points out that it displays an Olympic Torch that burns the entire C drive of the end-user's hard disk. Moreover, Microsoft and CNN also have described the malware as most destructive and the worst virus ever found.

Moreover, Aaron Williams, Assistant Manager, EC Computers, also confirmed the virus' news and said that his organization tried to make end-users aware of the attachments and to alert them that they must not open them, as reported by beaumontenterprise on February 16, 2009.

Nevertheless, security specialists commented that people feel so excited about the pictures that they ignore all security alerts issued for them.

Earlier in 2007, there was similar news of spamming during the execution of Saddam Hussein when people were warned of e-mails sent by malware distributors to exploit the news of Saddam's hanging for their own benefit.

Related article: Cyber Child abuser Sentenced To Imprisonment

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