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Cyber-criminals exploit death news of Aquino to purvey bogus AV

The death news of Corazon Aquino former lady President of The Philippines who suffered a heart attack on August 1, 2009 is currently a reason for mourning amongst the people in the country, but simultaneously it is reported that cyber criminals are also exploiting it to reap personal benefits, according to Trend Micro the security company.

Says Trend Micro that cyber criminals utilize high interest and popular events to boost their malicious intentions - in the current incident, to distribute bogus anti-virus (AV) software that Trend Micro has detected as TROJ_FAKEALRT.FK.

This malicious program, according to the company, is a Trojan that can be taken down from remote websites via the use of other malicious programs. It might get installed on users' PCs when other malware might drop it alternatively a user unknowingly downloads it while browsing malicious websites. Apparently, to download harmful content this Trojan relies on a particular URL. However, because of deficiencies within its programming, this malware remains short of performing its designated function.

Said Joseph Pacamarra Threat Analyst at Trend Micro, searching the web for information about the ex-president's demise by entering the words "Corazon Aquino's death" directed surfers onto four different malware sites.

Understandably, during the process, the online crooks utilized the identical Hypertext Preprocessor (.php) page for diverting users who followed the links for those malware sites. However, the .php page had different domains hosting it, probably to evade getting caught. Reportedly, when users were diverted from the malicious links, they ended up downloading bogus AV software from the four malware sites.

Furthermore, cyber criminals taking advantage of a renowned political personality's death news to distribute malicious software is not new. During December 2007, when Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan was killed, cyber attackers exploited the movies of her assassination to distribute malicious programs on a number of genuine news websites.

Thus with such malicious incidences occurring now and then, security specialists from Trend Micro as well as other security companies suggest that computer users maintain up-to-date security programs and also access just those news websites, which are least chanced with purveying malware.

Related article: Cyber Child abuser Sentenced To Imprisonment

» SPAMfighter News - 20-08-2009

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