Spammers Raise Conficker Worm Fears, Proclaim Kanye West Dead
Article by George Norman
On 22 Oct 2009
There are two spam campaigns going around these days that you should be made aware of. One of them tries to scare you into thinking that a new variant of the Conficker worm has been released. It then advises you to download the attached file in order to keep your system protected. The attached file is called install.zip and wouldn’t you know it, it contains a Trojan. If you are gullible enough to download the Trojan on your machine, it will install rogue security software application Antivirus Pro 2010.

Here is the full text of the spam message in question:

Advertising

Subject: Conflicker.B Infection Alert
Attached file: install.zip
Message body:

Dear Microsoft Customer,

Starting 18/10/2009 the ‘Conficker’ worm began infecting Microsoft customers unusually rapidly. Microsoft has been advised by your Internet provider that your network is infected.

To counteract further spread we advise removing the infection using an antispyware program. We are supplying all effected Windows Users with a free system scan in order to clean any files infected by the virus.

Please install attached file to start the scan. The process takes under a minute and will prevent your files from being compromised. We appreciate your prompt cooperation.

Regards,
Microsoft Windows Agent #2 (Hollis)
Microsoft Windows Computer Safety Division


There is one other spam campaign making the rounds on the internet. It reports that Kanye West, the popular musician, has died in a car crash. It may be true that Kanye is a jackass (hey, I didn’t say it, president Barack Obama did), but he is certainly not dead. The spam message proclaiming his early demise is currently being spread on the internet via email and via popular online services like Facebook and Twitter. Here is what the message says:

A bizarre car crash in Los Angeles involving two luxury cars early this morning rapper Kanye West dead, a second injured, a third arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter and a fourth person was detained by police.

A Los Angeles Police Department officer who witnessed the wreck and saw a red Ferrari and a white Porsche "spinning out of control" on Jamboree Road between Bison Avenue and East Bluff Drive ., Los Angeles Lt. Scott Fox said. The Ferrari "hit the curb and then collided with a pole." The Porsche came to a stop at the scene for a few seconds and then sped away, Fox said.

"It was terrible. It was extensive damage to the vehicle," Fox said, adding that the Ferrari appeared to have split in half.

A woman in the Ferrari was ejected during the accident and taken to a hospital, where she was in stable condition, Fox said. He said police have not determined which one was driving and which one was the passenger.

Police located the Porsche on Bison Avenue just west of Jamboree Road shortly afterward and saw a man and a woman walking away from the car.

"The vehicle had moderate damage and appeared to be consistent with the car involved in the accident on Jamboree," Fox said. "They determined that the male had been driving the Porsche, and he was arrested" for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, he said.

The speed limit on that stretch of road is 50 mph."


This is not the first time that people with malicious intent pick on Kanye West. Back in January someone broke into the artist’s MySpace and Gmail account and spread the wild rumor that Kanye is willing to star in a bisexual adult movie.

Getting back to the issue at hand, it seems that numerous internet users have reposted the spam message WITHOUT checking to see if it is accurate. Perhaps they don’t like Kanye all that much. A simple web search would have revealed that the artist is well and fine. But by now this is has become dangerous – hackers took advantage of this wild rumor, used SEO techniques and started pushing malicious web pages that claim to have details about Kanye West’s death. These web pages appear amongst other search results – the difference is that they lead to malware spreading sites.



Image credit: TrendMicro



Tags: Spam, Conficker, Trojan, Scareware, Kanye West, Dead, Malware
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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