A) Delete the email without attempting to view the image.
B) Find yourself trying to check out said incriminating photo.
Kudos if you picked A.
However, if you chose B… well, there’s a pretty good chance you just invited a keylogger to take up residency on your system.
At least, that’s what happened when security researchers over at Barracuda Labs intercepted a spam message that claimed the U.S. President was gay and welcomed recipients to click a malicious link to "see for themselves."
From: Thomas PIVATO
My friends said Obama was a Gay. I never believed it till I saw this picture of him You may like to see it for your self, just click on the bellow link.
Thomas Pivato, Fire officer (Mr.)
Fire and Safety Platoon
Security and Safety Service
Division of Management
United Nations Office at Vienna
Tel: (+43-1) 26060-3903
Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5834
Unfortunately, anyone that was gullible enough to fall for the lies would be presented distracted with an adorable Koala photo (see the cute, fluffy guy shown above) as a commercially available keylogger identified as ‘Perfect Keylogger’ is silently installed on their machine in the background.
From there, Perfect Keylogger will keep a close eye on the user’s every move – taking note of what programs that are launched, logging every key pressed and taking screenshots to make sure that absolutely nothing is missed. All of the collected data will be uploaded to a remote server via FTP.
So who would actually fall for this type of trickery?
“Only a few days after the spam was first seen there are a large number of folders on the keylogger website, each representing a person who clicked on the initial link and ran the downloaded program.” Barracuda Labs Security Researchers Dave Michmerhuizen & Luis Chapetti wrote in their Monday blog post, “It appears that outrageous headlines spurs curiosity which is effective in getting people to click on links and install malware.”
That being said, if you receive an unsolicited email boasting some juicy gossip, it’s probably best that you avoid clicking on any embedded links or downloading any attached files. Spammers will say almost anything to drive users to malicious sites or hand over sensitive information.
Don't let curiosity get the best of you or your PC!
(On a side note, it couldn't hurt to refine your dangerous image link detection skills.)
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