With the news of Osama Bin Laden’s demise, everyone has been searching the Internet for information on what really happened, seeking photos of the notorious terrorist’s body. Beware, however – whenever there’s a hot topic or something that a large mass of people are searching the web for, cyber criminals are always right around the corner with viruses and spyware.
To make sure you stay safe while surfing the web, there are a few things to keep in mind:
First of all, if you see a link to a video or image, which is very common on sites like Facebook, be careful about where it sends you. Try to avoid sites that are unfamiliar to you or give you any reason to be suspicious. Also, if you are asked to download something to view a photo or video, it is most likely an attempt to trick you into downloading malware.
A great example of this scam is the Bin Laden corpse video/photo that has been circulating Facebook recently. It shows a fake photo of Bin Laden’s gruesome, bloodied face (which is really a fake created by combining an old photo of Bin Laden with that of a corpse), with the description of something along the lines of:
“Osama Dead – Censored Video Leaked. Osama Dead – Censored Video Leaked. Osama is dead, watch this exclusive CNN video …”
Once you click on this link, however, instead of being taken to CNN, you get sent to some unknown website where you are likely to get your information stolen or malware installed on your PC. Usually this is done by first asking you to “Like” the page so that you can see the video/image, which just posts this same link you clicked on to your Facebook wall and sends it to your friends. Then after “liking” the page, you are asked to download a video player, which is usually made to look like Adobe Flash Player. You most likely already have the player installed, and even if you don’t, the download will likely be malware of some sort.
In the end, even if you do go through all the steps and actually download the malware-infected “video player,” there are no real video or images, unless the hacker decided to finally show you the fake photoshopped corpse image you were promised from the very beginning of this scam.
So remember, to make sure your computer doesn’t get infected with malware and viruses of any kind, never download anything just to view an image or video unless it is from a trusted website such as CNN, the New York Times, or of course, the BrickHouse Security Blog.