“Osama Bin Laden is Dead!” is the very first news headline I was reading early Monday morning. I was staring at my computer monitor in disbelief and with some skepticism. Can you blame me? Everything was done so quickly, body buried at the sea even before the news broke. I need proof!
I think I am not alone here. There are a lot of people who have a lot of questions and want photographic proof. To make matters worse, the White House had made a decision not to release any photos.
Naturally, people turn to the Internet to find some answers. Our curiosity gets the best of us sometimes!
In the wake of this bittersweet news, the “Osama Bin Laden death” video scam started making rounds on Facebook within a few hours from the time the news was announced according to the blog post by Sophos. Sophos states that by clicking the link, the user will be taken to a fake Facebook page and ask the user to “Like” and share the link. It seems though, that once the user clicks on the link, it is automatically reposted to all of his Facebook friends. These are rogue applications that usually take users to surveys, which earn money for the scammers. And you guessed it: there is no “Osama Bin Laden death” video.
This is not the only scam on Facebook or other social networking sites you should be looking out for. Remember the-sometimes-forgotten Koobface? Yes, that smart and pesky malware that targets Social networking sites? Although the survey scam is annoying, Koobface is the one you should really worry about. Koobface has been somewhat quite lately, but it becomes more active during major events/news.
You may have noticed that your email is being targeted also. I have not seen any emails referring to Osama bin Laden in my inbox just yet; however, if my memory serves me well, when Saddam Hussein was executed, I received a flood of emails with the subject lines such as “Saddam Hussein is alive! Watch video”.
I will not be surprised that we are going to start receiving such emails with a subject line “Osama bin Laden kill video” or something similar to it. Those types of emails contain either attachments or links. By following those links or clicking on the attachments, you may download malware with various payloads. In the worst case scenario, it can be ZeuS (a banking Trojan), which stays undetected and steals your identity, user names, passwords to your financial accounts, etc.
Although you may feel tempted to click on certain emails and links, remember the saying “curiosity killed the cat”. Use your common sense.