Feeds

Bogus Jackson suicide bid claim used to spread malware

Who's bad

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

A spam campaign that claims Michael Jackson has attempted suicide is being used to lure surfers into infecting their PCs with a Trojan horse.

The malicious junk mail messages prey on the intense media interest in the trial of the controversial popstar. Typical subject lines of the messages state: "Re: Suicidal aattempt" and feature message text such as "Last night, while in his Neverland Ranch, Michael Jackson has made a suicidal attempt. They suggest this attempt follows the last claim was made against the king of pop. 46 years old Michael has left pre-suicid note which describes and interpretes some of his sins. Read more..."

Users who click on the link visit a maliciously constructed website that attempts to exploit well-known Windows vulnerabilities to install a Trojan called Borobt-Gen onto surfer's PCs.

"If you click on the link, the website displays a message saying it is too busy, which may not surprise people who think it might contain genuine breaking news about Michael Jackson," said Carole Theriault, security consultant for Sophos. "However, this is a diversionary tactic - because behind the scenes the website is downloading malware onto the user's computer without their knowledge."

It's neither the first time interest in Jackson has been exploited by virus writers nor the use of topical events have been exploited to spread Trojan horse malware. In October 2004, messages were posted on the internet claiming that incriminating home videos belonging to Jackson had been found. The supposed link to more information was in fact a gateway to infection by the Hackarmy Trojan horse. ®

Related stories

Trojan poses as Osama capture pics
Beckham + strumpet pic actually Trojan
Trojan poses as Berg video footage
Schwarzenegger virus terminated
Trojan poses as bin Laden suicide pics

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.