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Malware Purveyors Targeting Winter Olympics

According to Zscaler Research (an Internet security company), messages on Twitter offering Olympic video recordings could result in download of malicious software on end-users' PCs.

Highlighting that '2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics' would kick off during the 2nd week of February 2010, the company emphasized that tweets carrying condensed web-links pointing to Olympic news began flowing in from a 'gamesvancouver' account.

Although the condensed URLs appearing in the tweets promise of showing video recordings of the inauguration ceremony, they actually take visitors to a web-page which spuriously resembles the original Olympic page. There is a slight mistake in the spelling of the URL's name. The vancouver2010.com uses "n" in place of "u," suggesting the falsity of the imposter site's falsity.

Zscaler stated that when Web-surfers, who logged onto the fake Vancouver Games website, tried downloading footage from it, they were told that it was necessary to download certain codec update for running their Flash multimedia application. But the codec actually installed a Windows executable containing a Trojan/Downloader, as reported by Securitywatch.eweek on February 14, 2010.

Moreover, the malware got caught by only 11 out of 41 well-known antivirus scanners utilized in the VirusTotal system test, according to the company.

Security experts state that just as a huge variety of sporting acumen is highlighted via the Winter Games, similarly a wide range of socially engineered tactics is illustrated through the Olympic footage scam. These tactics are using a genuine website like Twitter.com and the URL condensing service, bit.ly, to mirroring the Olympic website and launching the resultant fraudulent site at an appropriate time.

Michael Sutton, Vice-President of Research, Zscaler, said that considering that Winter Olympics was so popular, it wasn't astonishing that criminals were exploiting it for distributing malicious software, as reported by Securitywatch.eweek.

Alongside Zscaler, another security company MessageLabs Intelligence also reports of malware attacks exploiting the 2010 Winter Olympics. In these attacks, the spam mails use the caption "Winter Olympics 2010" and provide a file attachment that drops malware.

Finally, malware purveyors exploiting major events such as Olympics, isn't something new. The 2008 Olympics was similarly attacked, with malware peddlers launching scams that infected users' computers with malicious programs.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

» SPAMfighter News - 2/20/2010

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