IT security and control firm Sophos has warned individuals of a
social engineering phishing campaign that attempts to capitalize on
the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Spam messages teasing camera phone
footage of the Virginia Tech shootings have begun flooding inboxes
worldwide. These messages, however, are infected with malware and
could pose major problems if clicked through.
company's global network of high-security threat research centers,
discovered the malicious spam yesterday through Sophos's advanced
Genotype® Protection capabilities. The link within the spam
messages points viewers to a file entitled
TERROR_EM_VIRGINIA.scr. If downloaded, the link installs a
banking Trojan on the users computer system (detected as Mal/Packer by Sophos
products) which can be used by cybercriminals to steal passwords,
user names and account numbers.
The spammed emails claim to point to camera
phone footage of the campus shootings.
"It is extremely disturbing that cybercriminals have so quickly
jumped to exploiting this horrible tragedy. Unfortunately, it's not
that surprising," said Ron O'Brien, senior security analyst with
Sophos. "We've seen similar behavior with other tragedies like
Hurricane Katrina and the death of Pope John Paul II.
Cybercriminals prey on the interest of concerned citizens hoping
for the latest information on breaking news and, if history repeats
itself, we'll see this campaign continue until interest fades."
To avoid falling victim to one of the schemes, Sophos encourages
individuals to take extreme caution when downloading links from an
unidentified source and to make informed decisions about where they
Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can control network access and defend
against the threats of spam, hackers, spyware and viruses.