In the wake of the US Presidential election, inboxes around the world are being hit by malware emails supposedly providing news about Barack Obama’s historic win. Soon after the results were announced the first batch of bogus “news” emails were sent out. These messages claim to provide news about the election and contain a link that supposedly opens a video showing Obama’s “amazing” acceptance speech. However, clicking the link opens a webpage that claims that, in order to view the video, the user is required to download what appears to be a new version of Adobe Flash Player. In fact, the download is not a flash player at all, but a trojan that, once installed, can collect sensitive personal information from the infected computer and send it to a remote server. The emails arrive with a variety of subject lines.
Criminals regularly exploit major news events and it is not surprising that they have chosen to target the US election results. Malware distributors are likely to continue to exploit the election over the coming weeks and months. Internet users should be very caution of any unsolicited emails claiming to link to news, videos or photographs concerning the election. If you receive such a message, do not click on any links contained in the email or open any attachments that it may contain.