Newsflash: Local Man Launches Virus Epidemic
Malware authors are beginning to personalize virus attacks sent through e-mail, blasting out fake news alerts about shocking events that supposedly happened in or around the recipient's home town.
This latest innovation comes compliments of the Waledac worm, widely seen as the successor to the Storm worm, a wily virus that used a seemingly bottomless bag of new tricks to fool people into clicking on links that launch the worm into action.
On Monday, security firm Trend Micro began warning people to look out for bogus "Reuters breaking news" e-mails warning of explosion or other various calamities that have supposedly broken out in a city near you. The message content pulls data from so-called "geo-location" services that can use the recipient's Internet address to make a semi-accurate guess of their nearest town.
For example, a user who lives in Fairfax, Va., might see this subject line in a missive sent by Waledac: "Powerful explosion burst in Fairfax this morning." The message authors also append a Wikipedia link and a Google search link at the bottom to add to the fake alert's legitimacy.
Trend and other security firms first spotted this localization technique used by another Waledac variant last month, which used e-mails claiming to help recipients weather the financial crisis by linking to fake coupons for retail stores in the recipient's area.
March 17, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
Categories: Fraud , Latest Warnings , Safety Tips | Tags: local news, marshal, waledac, worm
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