Kanye West death prank used to sling scareware
But Beyonce had one of the best hoaxes of all time
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. ®
Yes, everyday there are new attacks on the Internet. Everyday, thousands of bits of malware are generated, some released into the wild, others held back for another time. However, it IS worth reporting on SEO poisoning and these celebrity death hoaxes to warn the general public to make these attacks less successful, and to show them that you always have to be vigilant.
We do the same thing here at Sophos. We try to talk about relevant security threats and educate users to the tricks that malware authors use. In fact, we too posted about this today:
Beth Jones, SophosLabs
"It seems almost inevitable that the imminent launch of Windows 7 will also be used to throw out scareware."
I even heard some of that scareware was sent in advance because of a planned Royal Mail strike... well, at least _this_ crash won't involve luxury cars
El Reg uses the most idiotic meme ever? I'm done with you guys.