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McAfee re-issues fake visa waiver virus warning

As Symantec haunted by dead celebs

Reducing security risks from open source software

Proving there's not much new under the sun, McAfee is warning travellers to the US to be aware of the danger of fake visa waiver websites.

Travellers from 36 countries now need to apply online for a visa waiver when travelling to the US. Because this is not something anyone will do often - the free pass lasts for two years - so the danger of falling for a scam is increased.

McAfee warns that cybercrooks have been busy building fake sites to mimic Homeland Security's Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The security firm found a simple search for "ESTA" or "ESTA form" threw up dodgy sites. These include sites offering to fill in the free form for a fee, fake government sites and sites requiring a form to be downloaded which actually contains malware.

In fact, as the Bitter Wallet blog pointed out in 2009, many of the fake sites actually look more convincing than the real thing. The site noted that one of the fake sites it visited: "In fact it’s far more convincing than the official ESTA website, which has a design provided by a seven-year-old and the user functionality of a frightened horse." The real Esta site is here

In other news, Symantec is warning of a resurgence of that perennial favourite, the celebrity death email. The latest spam comes with malware attached and includes a subject line claiming that one of several celebs has died. Invented deaths include Beyonce, Bon Jovi, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, David Beckham, Jennifer Aniston and many more. Strangely Angelina Jolie is missing from the list.

Symantec said the spam claims 34 other people died, along with the chosen celeb, when their plane crashed into a mountain on approach to an airport. Another email using the same crop of celebs claimed they had died in an automobile accident.

Both mails include an attachment entitled "Hot News.zip" which is actually the Trojan.Zbot.

More from Symantec here. ®

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