Johnny Depp has NOT died in a car crash, but hackers exploit rumours

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

25 January: Updated to include video of the associated malware attack.

Hollywood movie actor Johnny Depp, famous for his roles in Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow and Pirates of the Caribbean, became the unwitting star of an internet hoax which spread widely this weekend.

Innocent internet users were fooled by the hoax, spreading messages to their online friends that the popular film star, who lives in France with his partner Vanessa Paradis, had come to a tragic end at the side of a road in Bordeaux.

The bogus reports claimed that the 46-year-old actor had died in a drunken car crash, often linking to a webpage which seemingly contained a CNN news report, including a photograph of the wreckage.

However, the webpage (despite appearances to the casual browser) wasn’t actually on CNN’s website at all.

Part of the report reads…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.