Osama bin Laden's death earlier this week, many people have tried to use the
internet as a search tool for pictures and videos of the slain terrorist
leader. But these search attempts have done more harm than good, as computer
hackers use the public's interest in the video/photo to spread malicious
past couple of days, the U.S. government has debated whether to release the
death photo of Osama bin Laden due to its graphic nature. During this debate,
many computer users attempted to find a leaked photo on the internet. But
computer hackers, knowing the significance of this event, posted fake links that promise a view of the
death photo. However, the links end up directing users to malware. Hackers have
made similar attempts during other large events, such as the British royal
wedding and the Japanese tsunami.
Many phishing schemes, which are ways of attempting to
acquire sensitive information by posing as a trustworthy entity via electronic
communication, have crowded the web as of late. For instance, some Facebook
users have received e-mails purportedly from friends that instruct them to cut
and paste a line of text that will supposedly reveal bin Laden's death video.
When Facebook users follow the instructions, hackers have full access to their
account information, and of course, no video is revealed.
another phishing attempt, regular e-mails that are full of malicious links promising to expose the death
photo are sent to users, and malicious software is downloaded on a PC once the
links are opened.
always have something ready to go just in case," said Jeff Moss, chief
security officer for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
"There is always an earthquake or tsunami or hunger or
President Barack Obama recently announced that bin Laden's death photo
will not be released due to the fact that it may spark alarming
reactions, and because the photo is gruesome. This will either hinder computer
hackers' attempts because the public knows that the picture is not out there,
or it will benefit hackers, since some people will be still be curious enough
to continue the search.