The Gaddafi Virus?

A recent discovery has found that a global computer virus is hiding in the photos of Gaddafi’s death. This virus was detected by Internet Security firm, Sophos. Hackers are sending out spam emails that had pictures of Gaddafi’s body and when the user downloaded the picture, it would install malware onto their machine. The hackers appear to be imitating an official email from newswire service AFP. This is the email:

Subject: “Fw: AFP Photo News: Bloody Photos: Libya dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s Death”
Message body:
“Libya dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s Death
Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the most wanted man in the world, has been killed, the country’s rebel government claimed Oct. 20. The flamboyant tyrant who terrorized his country and much of the world during his 42 years of despotic rule was cornered by insurgents in the town of Sirte, where Gadhafi had been born and a stronghold of his supporters.”

People are just too interested to ignore the chance of interesting information. So the hacker(s) who came up with this fake email/pictures are actually being quite successful. It seems that hackers will use literally anything to get information from people, which just makes them look pathetic and desperate.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/10/21/global-computer-virus-hid_n_1023590.html?ref=cybersecurity

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2 thoughts on “The Gaddafi Virus?

  1. “It seems that hackers will use literally anything to get information from people, which just makes them look pathetic and desperate.”

    Pathetic and desperate? How about smart, unscrupulous, and tried-and-true?

    You know about christma.exe? That was a prototypical example of how to hack someone’s email account. By today’s standards, it seems obviously fishy: you needed to download and run a script on your computer to activate the worm (the script would also display a nice greeting message).

    But you know what was cool about that worm? It effectively used the social context of the time. At the time, “people were used to getting scripts as Christmas greetings”. And you know what’s cool about this current gadaffi virus? It effectively uses current social norms. It’s common to receive emails with embedded HTML and attached images, and whoever made this virus knows that.

    Reference: http://smartpeopleiknow.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/bah-humbug-the-infamous-christma-exec-worm/

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