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June 19th, 2008

New Malware Spam Reporting Bogus Beijing Earthquake Targets Olympic Games Fans

Botnet operators are using false reports about an earthquake near Beijing that could disrupt the Olympic games to spread malware. Unsolicited emails discovered to be a part of a new malicious spam campaign that claims another earthquake has just occurred in China, and could derail the upcoming Olympic Games.

Samples of the bogus alert doing the rounds intercepted by SophosLabs, featuring subject lines such as “Million dead in Chinese quake” and links to websites on a .cn domain. These sites claim a quake measured in at 9.0 on the Richter scale has caused millions of casualties. The pages contain links to a supposed video that actually downloads the Nuwar-E malware onto the Windows based PCs.

Net security firm Sophos reports that the .cn domains advertised in that attack are likely to be part of a botnet. Each DNS query for the domains returns a different IP address, indicating a changing network of compromised hosts are serving up the malware.

The recent Chinese earthquake is still so fresh in people’s minds, that many computer users won’t think twice before opening this email and clicking on the link. The spammers are using one of the most common tricks in an attempt to spread their malware, and if people continue to open unsolicited emails, unfortunately the spammers will continue.

Sophos experts note that by using the highly-anticipated Olympic Games due to take place in Beijing in August, the spammers are hoping to take advantage of the excitement surrounding the event in order to trick unsuspecting computer users into downloading their malware. Spammers are hoping that computer users will be so eager to find out more that they’ll forget their common sense when it comes to their emails. According to Sophos, we’re likely to see more spam messages referencing the upcoming Olympic Games as we get nearer to the event.

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    2 Responses to “New Malware Spam Reporting Bogus Beijing Earthquake Targets Olympic Games Fans”

    1. I just opened a flippen e-mail about the CHINESE EARTQUAKE.Is it at all harmful to my computer or internet banking fasilities? If so, what should I do?

    2. CyberInsecure Says:
      June 24th, 2008 at 6:41 am

      If it was indeed an email that infected your PC, do not use the internet for surfing until you scan your system and clean the virus. Otherwise, you might lose some, if not all, of your online accounts passwords.

      Scan and clean your system as soon as possible, with more than just one anti-virus.

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