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Security Updates.

May 9, 2011

Be Aware of Phishing Attempts and Scams Related to Osama bin Laden Death

InfoSec Communication: Be Aware of Phishing Attempts and Scams Related to Osama bin Laden Death

Be informed so you aren’t a victim!
There have been multiple reports of phishing attempts and online scams related to the death of Osama bin Laden. Whenever a large news event occurs, it is common for malicious people to take advantage of increased media attention by increasing the number of phishing attempts. These emails will often contain embedded links or purport to include exclusive photos or videos, either found on suspicious websites, or included as attachments or links in emails. These phishing attempts and online scams could occur at work, at home, or on your mobile device.

If you receive a suspicious message that includes a hyperlink or attachment, DELETE THE EMAIL. Do not forward it, do not click hyperlinks inside the email, and do not open any attachments.

Familiarize yourself with signs of a PHISH and become a “hyperlink skeptic”.

Example of these phishing attempts or scams:
Just one example of these phishing attempts or scams is showing up on Facebook. A link which claims to point to a video of the death of Osama bin Laden spread virally across Facebook. The messages, posed as updates on Facebook users' walls, claim to point to banned video footage of Osama bin Laden's death.

Clicking on the link takes you to a Facebook page which urges you to like and share the link with your Facebook friends, before you can watch the "shocking" footage. However, sharing the link with others just helps spread it further across the social network, and instead of a shocking video you are instead presented with an all-too-familiar survey which you are told you must complete before you can go any further.

ABC News also reported that “ads on the social network may promote offers celebrating bin Laden's death -- such as those for free tickets or free sandwiches -- but by clicking on the ads, users are just redirected to scam-filled pages that prompt them to turn over personal information.”

Know the risks associated with phishing attempts and online scams
Bank account information is being targeted by outsiders who seek it for financial gain and other malicious purposes every day through PHISHing attempts or online scams like the ones listed above. These attempts and scams could result in any one or all of the following:
• identity theft.
• a computer virus resulting in the loss of data.


Message Author: HCA Information Security