If you want to get people interested in something that you have to say, just add a celebrity’s name to it and the heads will turn. This does not necessarily reflect well on our society, but it is the truth. We pay attention more to celebrities, than to anybody else. It doesn’t matter if they are in movies, music or sports, people care what they have to say.
Since this fact is well known, hackers use this to their advantage on a regular basis. Before, they would wait until a big news story about a celebrity to break, and they would then try to capitalize off of it. Since there are sites such as Twitter and Facebook out now, it is easier to create a fake story themselves and get everyone to click on it.
Fake Deaths Spread Malware
This is exactly what happened last week. Throughout the different social media web sites, it was reported that the actor Johnny Depp, was killed in a car accident. Even though there was no credible source, that was reported in the news, the story spread like wild fire. In less than a couple of hours, Twitter was filled with RIP notices to the supposed “late” actor’s death.
Of course none of this was true and was only just the means of a hacker spreading his latest attack throughout the Internet. It seems that it was a pretty successful attack, even though there are no hard numbers to reveal this fact. But as popular as this fakes new story was throughout the weekend, there had to be a lot of victims to this attack.
He used the news, that there was video that showed the actual crash, to spread the virus around. When they went to watch the video, it would ask them to download a codec to be able to see the video. Once they did, the virus would then spread onto their machines. There must be an effort to educate people on what to click and what not to click. If there is not, then attacks such as this will work every time.
Malware Plugged In
People are so used to web sites asking them to install plugins when they go to them, that it is not a big deal for the average user anymore. When you go to web sites such as CNN.com, they even ask you to use a special plugin to view their content, which is only a Flash video. So it is hard for the average user to be able to tell the difference.
As long as these attacks still work, Hackers will do their best to implement them.
We have to get the word out to the public, when it is best to install something from a web site. If not, then this problem will be a continuous cycle.