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Malware Scams Exploits Death of Nodar Kumaritashvili

The shocking and untimely death of Nodar Kumaritashvili (the German luger) on February 12, 2010 at the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 is the most tragic incident. While fans have still not overcome from it, cyber criminals are already cashing in on the situation by launching a malicious campaign.

Describing the campaign, security researchers at AVG revealed that cyber criminals had launched it using video footages from YouTube.

It took only minutes when hunting for the video footage became Google's top most search trend. Indeed, out of 20 top search phrases, 16 were related to the video.

The researchers state that entering the name "Nodar Kumaritashvili" for a Google search alone returns several malware laden web pages among the top 10 hits.

Commenting on the scam's maliciousness, Roger Thompson, Chief Research Officer at AVG, stated that at times, the false codecs only loaded a rootkit on the victim computer. But in the latest scam, the codec planted a bogus anti-spyware application protected by a rootkit. The anti-spyware, which feigned to do a malware scan on the user's system, produced several fake security alerts. Thereafter, it claimed that it would remove malware for which the user should buy the application for $49.95, as reported by Mashable on February 15, 2010.

Owing to the tragedy, AVG suggests that if sports lovers want to see any movie clip online, but are asked to download something like a codec for it, they should avoid doing so. It is quite risky and possibly bogus.

If Web-surfers want to search for news about the Olympic, then they should only refer to reputed news agencies, or the authorized website of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The security company warns that there could be people using SEO poisoning to abuse all breaking news related to the Olympics in the forthcoming few weeks. Hence, surfers should be very careful while searching for updated information on Google.

Cyber criminals' exploitation of the death of a famous figure isn't something new. Pop King Michael Jackson's demise was similarly abused during mid-2009, when they (cyber criminals) launched malware attacks against fans worldwide who mourned the tragic death.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

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