Combine viral news with gullible people and you’ve got the makings of a Facebook scam right in front of you. A post is running rampant on the social networking site advertising a video of Osama bin Laden’s killing: “Osama is dead, watch this exclusive CNN video which was censored by Obama administration due to level of violence, a must watch. Leaked by Wikileaks,” the description reads. Another, less sordid spam post promises free Subway to celebrate the event.
The death of bin Laden has become an Internet sensation, the likes of which we’ve never seen. The news managed to become the most tweeted topic in history (albeit that’s a fairly short history), and the intrigue surrounding the real-time announcement of his death has only made it more viral.
And Internet scammers know it. Curiosity surrounding bin Laden’s demise has made his death an ideal platform for viruses. While it’s becoming easier and easier to spot faux-posts on Facebook, the virus attacks are getting more sophisticated. Security firm Websense revealed that the blog of the man responsible for live-tweeting bin Laden’s death was hacked and embedded with malware. According to the report, a message reading “Windows Recover” pops up, trying to con visitors into providing credit card information for the nonexistent software. Luckily the virus was disabled as of 8 a.m. PST.
Searching for various bin Laden topics can also land your system into dangerous territory. Image and videos are proving specifically prone to viruses.
Be on the lookout for:
- Results from image or video searches regarding bin Laden.
- Any links advertising an image or video of a dead bin Laden, or the shootout. Be assured that this footage does not exist – at least not in a form you can get your hands on.
- As always, don’t provide credit card information to anything advertising virus protection.
- Be careful when searching for any information about bin Laden. You don’t have to be an SEO expert to figure out that searches about the former al-Qaeda leader have spiked in the last few days, and spammers know this. Be assured they are taking advantage.