Security Corner

Jun 29 2009   7:01PM GMT

Spam, Phishing, and Malware Related to Recent Celebrity Deaths

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Michael Jackson malware? Farrah Fawcett phishing attempts? Billy Mays spam? Ed McMahon notifies you—from the other side of the grave–that you’ve just won the million-dollar Publisher’s Clearinghouse (but you have to send him some money, first)? Yes, expect it. US-CERT is monitoring reports of an increased number of spam campaigns, phishing attacks, and malicious code targeting the recent deaths. Here’s a typical example:

To: <redacted>
Subject: Confidential===Michael Jackson
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 19:25:50 –0400

Vital informations after the death of Michael Jackson’s I really need some one trusted & secrective to speak with with informations i have in my possession before its too late Kindly reply me and i will immediately respond back,Its for just secret between both of us.

Notice the blatant misspellings, lack of punctuation and obvious grammatical mistakes from someone who is clearly not a native English-speaking person. If you get this email, delete it immediately. Same with anything related to any of the other celebrities’ deaths.

They’re all from scammers (criminals) either trying to steal your money, your identity or both.

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