Warning! Hackers are exploiting Texas explosion news to spread malware

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Once again, cybercriminals are leaping at the opportunity to take advantage of breaking news stories to spread malware.

The latest example, coming just days after malware authors exploited interest in the Boston Marathon bombings, concerns the fatal explosion in the small community of West, Texas, of a fertiliser plant.

Here’s an example of one of the malicious emails intercepted by SophosLabs, with the subject line “CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Fertilizer Plant Explosion Near Waco, Texas”.

Other messages have been seen using the subject line “Raw: Texas Explosion Injures Dozens”.

Clicking on the link contained inside the emails takes unsuspecting computer users to a webpage that contains a series of embedded YouTube videos.

Harmless enough, you might think. However, the webpage also contains a 640×360 pixel iFrame, that attempts to suck in malicious content from another site, designed to infect…

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.