Feeds

Kanye West death prank used to sling scareware

But Beyonce had one of the best hoaxes of all time

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.