Feeds

Kanye West death prank used to sling scareware

But Beyonce had one of the best hoaxes of all time

The essential guide to IT transformation

Rumours of the death of rapper Kanye West in a car crash became fodder for fake anti-malware scams on Tuesday.

Users searching for more info on the fictitious fatality are liable to get redirected to sites distributing scareware, security researchers warn. The rumour itself reportedly originated on notorious image board 4chan, the seeding ground for the Anonymous campaign against Scientology.

Bogus reports, claiming West met his maker in a crash involving two luxury cars in Los Angeles, subsequently appeared in email as well as appearing on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. These reports didn't themselves point to malware-infested sites but made the topic of West's supposed demise a trending topic on Twitter and elsewhere.

Unsavoury characters latched onto this to poison search results related to the rapper's fictitious James Dean-style death.

The incident is yet another example of hackers gaming search engine rankings for events in the news to expose the unwary to fake anti-malware scams.

Other recent campaigns along the same lines have hopped aboard the news of the death of Michael Jackson and the recent launch of Google Wave, among many others. It seems almost inevitable that the imminent launch of Windows 7 will also be used to throw out scareware. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.