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Cybercriminals Exploit Unfortunate Death of Brazilian Musician - Symantec

Symantec.com published a report on 26th June, 2015 quoting a recent claim by Symantec as "The sudden and unfortunate death of 29 year old Brazilian musician Cristiano Araujo is being exploited by cybercriminals in their infamous malware campaigns."

The official Instagram page of Cristiano Araujo says that his car rolled over while returning home from a concert. His girlfriend, 19 year old Allana Coelho Pinto de Moraes died at the spot and he was rushed to a nearby hospital where he passed away. He apparently suffered a fractured skull and internal bleeding and doctors tried to revive him for more than an hour before declaring him dead.

Symantec observed that following the tragic news, malware-laced emails promising footage of the mishap are being distributed to netizens across Brazil and Venezuela. The email simply promotes links for downloading the footage in AVI or MP4 format.

The URLs guide to files stored in Google Drive that are in reality samples of the infamous Bancos Trojan dropper which downloads and installs a banking malware with the same eponym which has been identified as Infostealer.Bancos by Symantec.

The malware is widespread across Latin America dates back to 2009. Once it infects a system, it starts gathering confidential banking details and sends the same to cybercriminals.

Symantec advises users to be careful and follow simple security advices. These include: Be cautious and cynical while reading sensational stories on social media sites or in emails. Never click randomly on online links and instead go directly to your trusted sources. In case, you have doubts about the authenticity of an email's content, report the same as spam.

Moreover, this is not the first time that the death of a celebrity is being abused by scammers in their malicious campaigns. In August 2014, security experts warned people about a scam video going around on social media claiming to be the last words of the renowned Hollywood actor and comedian Robin Williams, who committed suicide. If one clicks on the fake video, it started downloading malware on the computer of the user. Similar malicious videos were observed after the deaths of other leading Hollywood stalwarts such as Amy Winehouse, Paul Walker and Whitney Houston.

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