Breaking News: Obama Refuses to Be President

Did that get your attention? Scammers are hoping it will.

Breaking News Malware Emails

An ongoing strategy of scammers is to send out spam emails with shocking or titillating subject lines. They’ve decided the recent nomination of Barack Obama is a perfect topic and Symantec has reported that emails are showing up that read something like this:

Sample Emails

Subject: Breaking news

Barack Obama refused to be the president of the United States of America

Yours Sincerely,
Cecily Lynn

Subject: What is going on with our country?

Obama has gone

Yours faithfully,
Rodney Lynch

The link in the actual emails (we’re not linking to anything in the examples above) point to the following site:

What is the Threat?

The site instantly attempts to bypass any browser security and install malware on your computer. If that fails, any link on the site will download and install malware software. The software is called W32.Waledac. Here’s what it does, as described from the Symantec web site:

Rest assured that we detect this piece of malicious software under the name W32.Waledac. This particular piece of malware is capable, among other things, of:

  • harvesting sensitive information on your computer
  • turning your machine into a spam zombie
  • establishing a back door on your computer that will allow it to be remotely accessed

How Can I Protect Myself?

Resist the Impulse to Click – scammers will try to provoke an emotional response in order to keep us from thinking about what we’re doing. When you see an email like this, think for a moment if it’s even reasonable. Ask why someone would send an email like this. What’s the point?

Keep Your Software Up to Datewe’ve recently talked about keeping your Windows systems updated. The same goes for browsers, email clients, or anti-virus software. If you’re software is up-to-date, you’re more likely to avoid being hurt by scams like this.

By the way, Obama certainly didn’t refuse to be president. I watched the inauguration myself and my thoughts and prayers are with him. Whatever your political affiliation or citizenship, we should all hope and work for his success.

Author: Richard Patterson

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