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Osama malware scams spread to Facebook

Twitter news breaker hacked

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News of Osama bin Laden's assassination may have appeared on Twitter before the official confirmation but surfers following up supposed offers of live kill footage from Facebook or email will almost certainly end up hitting malware.

Breaking news items are often taken as the theme for search engine manipulation designed to deliver links to scareware portals in search results – and the death of the al Queda leader is no exception. Scams featuring JavaScript code and Facebook chat messages are also doing the rounds, Trend Micro reports.

In addition, F-Secure has reported banking Trojan malware that poses as image attachments in emails but is actually designed to steal bank login credentials from compromised machines.

Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual) tweeted about hearing helicopters and explosions in Abbottabad hours before bin Laden's death was announced. Athar's website was subsequently hacked to lead surfers towards a site hosting the Blackhole exploit kit, Websense warns.

Altogether surfers would do better to get their news from recognised news outlets, a general piece of advice that applies to all breaking news items and not just the death of the world's most notorious terrorist. ®

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