Officials warn of Osama bin Laden malware scam
By Jim Hagerty
According to online security reports, a dangerous type of malware centered on the death of Osama bin Laden may be circulating.
The malware is hidden in images and posts claiming to link users to pictures of the arch-terrorist’s dead body and videos of the mission to locate and kill him.
Facebook and Twitter security spokesmen say that by clicking on such links and images, IP addresses and e-mail addresses are often spammed out to malicious advertisers.
Security vendor Zscaler said Monday the malware, commonly executed by a hidden file called XvidSetup.exe, quickly downloads hotbars and other adware tools users may have a difficult time deleting.
The file is undetectable by at least half of antivirus applications on the market.
“Sadly, there will be no shortage of scams taking advantage of this historic global news,” Zscaler blogger Michael Sutton said, referring to the Sunday killing of Osama bin Laden. “Users should use caution any time a site claims to be offering video or photos related to this news.”
Those infected by malware are encouraged to contact online security officials.
More information about the XvidSetup.exe malware is available HERE.
Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan Sunday afternoon, April 1, when a team of CIA-led Navy SEALs stormed his compound. Two others, including a female used as a human shield, were killed in the firefight. Osama bin Laden died from gunshot wounds to the head.
The body of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks mastermind was later identified by DNA testing.
A makeshift Islamic funeral was held on a U.S. aircraft carrier Monday before bin Laden’s body was dumped into the North Arabian Sea.
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