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Category: Tech

FBI: Fake Bin Laden Video Is a Virus

Written on May 04, 2011 by R. Depp

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Osama Bin Laden just won’t depart this life – when even after death the world’s probably most-hated terrorist remains a public nuisance in the form of a computer virus.

With news on Osama Bin Laden’s death flooding the World Wide Web, most specially the social media, the is now warning people not to open unsolicited links or emails claiming to show videos or photos of the Al-Qaeda boss’ killing, as these could be a computer virus.

In an interview with PC World last Tuesday, security vendor F-Secure said that they’ve spotted the first samples of malicious software disguised as photos of the dead leader and that criminals are allegedly e-mailing a password-stealing Trojan horse program called Banload to victims. Symantec also told PC World that it’s seen criminals spamming victims with links to fake “Osama dead” news articles that launch Web-based attacks on visitors.

A typical lure used in the scam: “Osama is dead, watch this exclusive CNN video which was censored by Obama Administration due to level of violence, a must watch.” Users are then encouraged to cut and paste malicious JavaScript code into their browser, which then sends the message to all of their Facebook friends.

The FBI, meanwhile, asked people to exercise caution, and not to open these spam e-mails, even if the messages are from friends as these applications can infect computers and could be viruses programmed to steal personally identifiable information.

“Even a friend can unknowingly pass on multimedia that’s actually malicious software,” the agency said, adding that criminals may also use the FBI’s name and seal to add legitimacy to their fraudulent schemes,” the FBI said in a statement.

Such “content could be a virus that could damage your computer. This malicious software or malware can embed itself in computers and spread to users’ contact lists, thereby infecting the systems of associates, friends, and family members,” they added.

“The public should exercise due diligence.”

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