Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/24/osama_alive_twitter_scam/

Osama alive scam snowballs on Twitter

Elvis-style bunkum entraps clueless tweeps

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 24th May 2011 10:31 GMT

Fraudsters wasted little time running scams based on the death of Osama bin Laden, so it's no big surprise that they are now running cons based on the conspiracy theory that the former head of al Qaida is alive.

Tweets relaying the false news that the uber-terrorist is alive supposedly point to a non-existent news story on CNN. In reality, the links point to a phishing site that attempts to trick marks into handing over login credentials for the micro-blogging service. Those taken in by the scam are forwarded to a YouTube video of protestors in Pakistan who claim that Osama is alive.

It's likely the attackers are attempting to use Twitter as a springboard to attack associated webmail accounts. Compromised accounts are used to post updates further spreading the scam.

Scam emails account for one in 100 emails overnight, Twitter trend-tracking service Trendistic reports. The current rate of tweets is around 200 per minute, net security firm Websense warns.

Websense advises users who might have been taken in by the scam to change their passwords immediately... while they still can. ®