Come on now, do you really believe Barack Obama has had Transsexual Affairs? Since you ended up on this site, it’s likely you got here by way of a Google search on Barack Obama, and you couldn’t resist the temptation to check this out.
While doing the background work on this article, it came to my attention that other key words (other than sex), used in Google searches to define Obama, are “Muslim”, which he surely is not; and “Religious”, which it appears he is.
Don’t stop reading now because there’s no sex scandal on this page. You need to become aware of the very real dangers involved in following salacious search engine links and the consequences of clicking on embedded links in emails.
The reality is, we are all pretty curious creatures, and knowing this, cyber crooks are now exploiting our natural curiosity relying, more and more, on this aspect of social engineering to create an opportunity designed to drop malicious code, including rootkits, password stealers, Trojan horses, and spam bots on our computers. Malicious code that can lead to identity theft and the theft of your passwords, bank account numbers, and other personal information.
This can be accomplished by directing users’ to infected web search results; the seeding of malicious websites among the top results returned by these engines. When a potential victim visits one of these sites, the chances of downloading malicious code onto the computer by exploiting existing vulnerabilities, is extremely high.
Internet security specialists have known for some time that we can not rely on Internet search engine results to be untainted and free of potential harmful exposure to malware.
Email scams work essentially the same way. The cyber-crooks responsible for these scams are experts at using social engineering as the hook. They rely on the fact that we are indeed a curious species, and we do seem to have an unrelenting interest in scrutinizing the personal lives of politicians.
Now that Obama has been officially nominated to carry the Democrats banner into the upcoming U.S. presidential election, be prepared for a deluge of spam scams perpetrated by cyber-criminals based on his popularity on the one hand, and our need to be titillated on the other hand, to leverage their malicious activities.
Incredible as it seems, billions (that’s right billions), of spam email messages are generated every hour through so called botnets; zombie computers controlled by cyber-criminals.
One such new spam email campaign is already in operation which provides a link which purportedly leads to a video of Barack Obama disclosing his transsexual affairs. Isn’t that why you’re here?
Those that are gullible enough to follow this link will be enticed to download the file – Barack_Obama-videostream.v182.exe – which has been classified as a malware agent – BKDR_AGENT.ABTQ. So the reward in this case, for unwitting users’ who enjoy checking out scandalous content, is the installation of malware onto their systems.
Security experts agree that a significant number of malware infections could be avoided if users stopped opening the types of files that are clearly dangerous. To this point however, this type of dangerous behavior continues despite the warnings.
The Marshal Threat Research and Content Engineering (TRACE) report for the first half of 2008 has just been released, and unhappily it shows that “Cyber criminals are using ‘blended attacks’ to distribute malware and links to hacked websites via email on an unprecedented scale”.
Sustaining this conclusion, the IC³ (Internet Crime Complaint Center) recently stated that these types of attacks against Internet users are occurring with such frequency, that the situation can be called nothing short of “alarming”.
As I have pointed out in the past on this Blog, the following are actions you can take to protect your computer system, your money and your identity:
Install an Internet Browser add-on such as WOT (my personal favorite), which provides detailed test results on a site’s safety; protecting you from security threats including spyware, adware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, and online scams.
As an addition to your existing malware applications, download and install ThreatFire 3 (provided free by PC Tools), which blocks mal-ware, including zero-day threats, by analyzing program behavior and it does a stellar job. This is one of the security applications that forms part of my front line defenses. I have found it to have high success rate at blocking mal-ware based on analysis of behavior.
Don’t open unknown email attachments
Don’t run programs of unknown origin
Disable hidden filename extensions
Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched
Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use
Disable scripting features in email programs
Make regular backups of critical data
Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised
Turn off file and printer sharing on the computer
Install a personal firewall on the computer
Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and ensure it is configured to automatically update when you are connected to the Internet
Ensure the anti-virus software scans all e-mail attachments
Be proactive when it comes to your computer’s security; make sure you have adequate software based protection to reduce the chances that your machine will become infected.
If you are unsure then checkout “Free Windows Software You Can’t Afford Not to Have”, on this site.