Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Whitney Houston RIP virus spreads


With the sudden demise of singer Whitney Houston at age 48 yesterday, the online community is once again flooded by countless tweets, Facebook wallposts and online news, as is with every celebrity deaths. And with the massive attention that Houston’s death is generating, cybercriminals are once again taking advantage.

Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global cloud security leader, has uncovered two web threats shortly after  the news broke out. According to Trend Micro Fraud Analyst “the first attack TrendLabs found was a  clickjacking on Facebook, and the other one was a suspicious link circulating on Twitter.” TrendLabs is the global R&D and technical support center of Trend Micro.

On Facebook, the post, which have the subject “I Cried watching this video. RIP Whitney Houston“, come in the form of a wall post with a link to the supposed video. Once users click on the video, it leads them to a Facebook page that contains a link to the video. However, clicking the said link only leads to several other redirections until users are lead to the usual survey scam site. Upon further investigation on the domains involved, TrendLabs also found 101 more survey scam domains registered on the same IP where the domains are hosted.

On Twitter, Trend Micro has also found tweets with malicious links that also took advantage of the tag RIP Whitney Houston, which was trending worldwide on Twitter. The said tweets contain a link to a supposed particular blog dedicated to Whitney Houston. Users viewing the page are then redirected to another website, even without them having to click on anything. The succeeding page is a site that supposedly features several Whitney Houston wallpapers what the users can download. However, once they decide to download the wallpaper, a pop-up window appears asking the users to download Whitney Houston ringtones. Whatever users choose—whether to leave or stay on the page, they will be redirected to the survey site that asks for mobile numbers.

“Facebook and Twitter are great sites to get the latest news and express your views but we highly encourage users to be wary of whatever they click in there. Celebrity deaths are almost always baits used by cybercriminals to get you,” adds Talampas. Moreover, he advises, “it’s times like these when a beefed security software whose core focus is protecting your online life is key.” .”

Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Cloud Edition Maximum Security 2012, the latest security solution from Trend Micro, is based in the cloud and offers robust protection against all malicious threats, no matter how they are delivered, where they try to hide, or what connected device is in use.

A new feature in Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Cloud Edition Maximum Security 2012 is a tool that visually identifies safe and malicious links on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The software also offers mobile security for smartphones and tablets, including robust tools for Android devices with Trend Micro™ Mobile Security for Android™ Personal Edition and file and folder synchronization and backup through Trend Micro™ SafeSync™ online service.