Data thieves and spammers want to make the most of every situation. After the sudden and unfortunate outbreak of Swine Flu, looks like the cybercriminals want to capitalize on this situation too.
Since the outbreak of the flu, online data stats across the globe suggests that people have been hitting the internet in frenzy looking for Swine Flu related information.
Capitalizing on this, the cybercriminals have been sending infected files to the masses via emails, keying off curiosity about Swine Flu.
One such email has a PDF attachment titled: Swine influenza frequently asked questions.pdf.
Clicking on the PDF runs a data stealing program on your computer. If you see this, delete it from your inbox.
There are many more such emails doing their rounds. These messages (related to Swine Flu) try to get you to click on tainted web links. Instead, you end up installing various malicious programs on your computer. Many times, you even get directed to websites selling fake pharmaceutical drugs.
Symantec and Cisco Ironport recommend immediate deletion of email messages with these subject lines:
- Swine flu worldwide
- Swine flu in the USA
- US swine flue fears
- First US Sine flue victims
- Swine flu in Hollywood
- Salma Hayek caught swine flu
- Madonna caught swine flu
- US swine flu statistics
- NY victims of swine flu
- First US swine flu victims
- Will swine flu attack USA?
- US swine flu fear
Symantec’s Mayur Kulkarni writes:
There is another spam campaign underway that is also using headlines related to the swine flu outbreak, but the messages don’t contain any URLs or attachments. The intention of this type of campaign is to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) among email users. Some of the headlines used in this particular type of email spam have been hoisted from various news agencies, and examples are listed below:
- Mexico on edge as reports of swine flu cases climb
- UK monitoring swine flu outbreak
- UK probes ’17 swine flu reports’
- Global panic as swine flu spreads to Europe
- US declares emergency as Mexico flu death toll rises
- Probable Mexico swine flu death toll – 103: minister
- Swine flu case confirmed in Spain
- Are you worried about flu outbreak?
- World moves to contain flu spread
- U.S. tries to get a handle on flu outbreak
- World ‘well prepared’ for virus
- World flu epidemic fear rises, Mexicans take refuge
- Twenty swine flu cases confirmed in U.S.
- Mexico flu sparks worldwide fear
- Suspected Mexico flu toll hits 81
- Mexico flu ‘a potential pandemic’
- 81 feared dead from swine flu in Mexico
- Swine flu epidemic fear grows, world on alert
- U.S. acts swiftly to contain swine flu outbreak
- Family alert to swine flu illness
Whether Swine Flu manages to reach all corners across the globe or not, but its internet versions definitely seems to be on the mission to spread a different kind of “infection” altogether! Watch out! Don’t let it reach you.
Moral of the story:
Don’t open any mail containing the word “Swine Flu” or “H1N1 Flu” 😛