Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Bin Laden Virus To Wreak Havoc, Warns FBI

Osama is dead but is still wreaking havoc. If you get an e-mail containing bin Laden links, then it's a fake, says the FBI.

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The FBI has issued a warning to computer users "to exercise caution when they receive e-mails that purport to show photos or videos of Osama bin Laden's recent death."

It warns users not to open unsolicited e-mails or click links contained within such messages, as it could be from an unknown sender.

There are several email and Facebook scams doing the rounds, one shows a Facebook page, claiming to be a video of "Osama bin Laden killed live on video."

Other emails have links saying: "See video in which Osama bin Laden is shown holding a newspaper with today's date and disprove his possible death reported by OBAMA" and another says "pictures-of-osama-dead.exe."

The news of the demise of bin Laden, the godfather of terrorism and leader of al-Qa'eda, and on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List for more than a decade was met with jubilation across the world.

The emails, if opened, could contain a virus that could damage computers and the "malware" can embed itself in computers and spread to users' contact lists, thereby infecting their systems and could also capture personal information.

Users should also ensure they have up-to-date firewall and anti-virus software running on their machines to detect and deflect malicious software, the US's Internet Crime Complaint Center recommends.

IT security experts McAfee agrees, branding the mails "expected lures" in a blog.

"Beware of any verbiage, subject lines in emails, or links via Facebook or Twitter that contain words like these–as they will almost certainly get you into trouble," it warned. 
News of the death of bin Laden, confirmed by a simple tweet by a former White House staffer from his BlackBerry at 10.25 EST on May 02 sent news outlets around the world into a frenzy of activity and online searches in the US surpassed the recent interest in the British Royal Wedding.

The attack on the al-Qa'eda leader by US forces was first reported on Twittter by an IT consultant based in Abbottabad, Pakistan, who said "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)."

He was finally caught in a hideout suburb near the town of city of Abbottabad, Pakistan.

"So I'm told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn," Keith Urbahn, the former Chief of Staff of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wrote on Twitter.

However, Urbahn who also describes himself as a  Navy Reserve intel officer came in from criticism from one follower, who criticised the casual nature of the post without getting confirmation first, retweeting "I gotta broke this first. Everyone was crediting you before it was confirmed. Nice work."

However, it did turn out to in fact be true, although Urbahn downplayed the significance of the event, later tweeting "Stories about the 'death of MSM [mainstream media]' because of my 'first' tweet are greatly exaggerated."

He also cited his source his source as being from the media from "a connected network TV news producer."
Following the tweet, The White House confirmed the death soon after, which was followed by an official address by President Obama at 11.00 EST.  

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