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Advisory! RIP Whitney Houston scam hits Facebook, Twitter

The world was shocked with the sudden passing away of music legend and icon Whitney Houston. But it’s not shocking anymore that no-do-gooders are taking advantage of this tragedy to prey on unsuspecting users.

Trend Micro has discovered two known threats right now using the death of the diva to lure victims to their trap. And as expected, these two are on the planet’s two most visited sites on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

The one on Facebook is a wall post “I Cried watching this video. RIP Whitney Houston.” Clicking on it will supposedly take you to a video, but instead, will take you to a Facebook page that contains a link to the video. Ok, that’s a red flag right there, but let’s give ‘em the benefit of the doubt. Maybe clicking the link there will lead to the video in question. But unfortunately, it doesn’t. It will, again, redirect you to another site. So there you go. That’s strike two, and no need to wait for strike three ‘cause we know it’s coming.

The on Twitter, meanwhile, uses the #RIPWhitneyHouston, which trended worldwide because of the untimely death of the singer. The tweet contains a link to a blog supposedly dedicated to the Ms. Houston. Harmless, right? But wait, it doesn’t end there. Once one visits the blog, they are automatically redirected to a site where Whitney Houston wallpapers are available for download. Click on a wallpaper, and pop-up window opens for ringtones. Click on that, and I guess you know what happens – another pop-up window. SCAM!

So be careful guys on what you click on.

Be wary of the tell tale signs – I’ve already mentioned some of ‘em here – that a post or link is a scam, and always keep it tuned to Technoodling as we’ll be sure to dish out more advisories like this one to give you guys the heads up once a new scam sufaces.

Press release follows:

New Virus on Whitney Houston’s Death Attacks Social Networking Sites

With the sudden demise of singer Whitney Houston at age 48 yesterday, the online community is once again flooded by countless tweets, Facebook wallposts and online news, as is with every celebrity deaths. And with the massive attention that Houston’s death is generating, cybercriminals are once again taking advantage.

Trend Micro Inc., a global cloud security leader, has uncovered two web threats shortly after the news broke out. According to Talampas, Trend Micro Fraud Analyst, “The first attack TrendLabs found was a clickjacking on Facebook, and the other one was a suspicious link circulating on Twitter.” TrendLabs is the global R&D and technical support center of Trend Micro.

On Facebook, the post, which has the subject, “I Cried watching this video. RIP Whitney Houston.“, come in the form of a wall post with a link to the supposed video. Once users click on the video, it leads them to a Facebook page that contains a link to the video. However, clicking the said link only leads to several other redirections until users are lead to the usual survey scam site. Upon further investigation on the domains involved, TrendLabs also found 101 more survey scam domains registered on the same IP where the domains are hosted.

On Twitter, Trend Micro has also found tweets with malicious links that also took advantage of the tag RIP Whitney Houston, which was trending worldwide on Twitter. The said tweets contain a link to a supposed particular blog dedicated to Whitney Houston. Users viewing the page are then redirected to another website, even without them having to click on anything. The succeeding page is a site that supposedly features several Whitney Houston wallpapers what the users can download. However, once they decide to download the wallpaper, a pop-up window appears asking the users to download Whitney Houston ringtones. Whatever users choose—whether to leave or stay on the page, they will be redirected to the survey site that asks for mobile numbers.

“Facebook and Twitter are great sites to get the latest news and express your views but we highly encourage users to be wary of whatever they click in there. Celebrity deaths are almost always baits used by cybercriminals to get you,” adds Talampas. Moreover, he advises, “it’s times like these when a beefed security software whose core focus is protecting your online life is key.” .”

Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Cloud Edition Maximum Security 2012, the latest security solution from Trend Micro, is based in the cloud and offers robust protection against all malicious threats, no matter how they are delivered, where they try to hide, or what connected device is in use.

A new feature in Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Cloud Edition Maximum Security 2012 is a tool that visually identifies safe and malicious links on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The software also offers mobile security for smartphones and tablets, including robust tools for Android devices with Trend Micro™ Mobile Security for Android™ Personal Edition and file and folder synchronization and backup through Trend Micro™ SafeSync™ online service.

Trend Micro products are distributed in the Philippines by MSI-ECS. For product information, pricing and availability, please contact Leo Vallente at +63 2 6883708 or lvallente@msi-ecs.com.ph.

Allan David

Allan David

Online, Allan’s got you covered as far as news (and some reviews every now and then) goes. Offline, you’ll see him either sweating it out in the badminton courts or dining out in one of the new restos around town. His favorite noodles: cold soba.

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