With the recent news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, it seems the spammers have got in early in sending out spam with this title, containing a shortened URL link to, amongst other things, viagra ads.
The first spam ad we received was titled: “Osama Bin Laden is dead – Look the photo” (sic). There are also reports of SEO-driven traffic on searches about this topic that point to malware infected sites.
[Update] We’re also receiving reports that the amount of Facebook spam being generated on this subject is probably even higher than inbox spam, so please be aware of those shortened links in your social media timelines as well.
While there are no reports of links in spam going to malware at this time, we would also caution any shortened URL in your email from a source you don’t know or trust. With the potential for malware to use an infected system’s resources, you should also beware of shortened links in emails from those you do trust.
Spammers and malware authors have got very good at SEO, and using breaking news to promote dodgy links and scaremongering, and so any breaking news story is a potential source of spam or malware.
You can take the following steps to keep yourself protected:
- Use a well respected anti-spam solution.
- Keep your system protected with an up-to-date antivirus and a fast cutting edge anti-spyware program.
- Treat as cautious any shortened link (such as bit.ly links) from sources you do not know, and even from sources you do.
- Most of all, be vigilant by not clicking on any link you are not sure about.