Malicious Code Circulating via Israel/Hamas Conflict Spam Messages

added January 9, 2009 at 09:25 am

US-CERT is aware of public reports of malicious code circulating via spam email messages related to the Israel/Hamas conflict in Gaza. These messages may contain factual information about the conflict and appear to come from CNN. Additionally, the messages indicate that additional news coverage of the conflict can be viewed by following a link provided in the email body. If users click on this link, they are redirected to a bogus CNN website that appears to contain a video. Users who attempt to view this video will be prompted to update to a new version of Adobe Flash Player in order to view the video. This update is not a legitimate Adobe Flash Player update; it is malicious code. If users download this executable file, malicious code may be installed on their systems.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to take the following preventative measures to help mitigate the security risks:

  • Install antivirus software, and keep the virus signatures up to date.
  • Do not follow unsolicited links and do not open unsolicited email messages.
  • Use caution when visiting untrusted websites.
  • Use caution when downloading and installing applications.
  • Obtain software applications and updates directly from the vendor's website.
  • Refer to the Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams (pdf) document for more information on avoiding email scams.
  • Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks document for more information on social engineering attacks.

Be carful out there

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