Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

Phishers Play Top 40

Latest spam pretends to be video from your favorite musical artist

First they pretended to send you an e-card. Then they offered you a link to a spectacular YouTube video. Now they're promising you a free new video of Beyoncé.

According to a report issued yesterday by security vendor SophosLabs, phishers have launched another new wave of spam attacks, this one targeted at music fans. Many of the messages are designed to draw users into the Storm botnet that has been raging for the past month. (See Storm Worm Attacks Take on New Disguises.)

So far, Sophos has spotted emails that purport to offer videos not only of Beyoncé, but of many other music stars, including Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna, The Eagles, Foo Fighters, R. Kelly, and Velvet Revolver. Fans of Lawrence Welk or Liberace appear to be safe from the attack.

Clicking on a link inside the email will send surfers to a Web page containing a malicious script and a Trojan horse designed to turn the user's PC into a compromised zombie, Sophos says. If infected, hackers can use victims' computers to steal personal information, spam out malware and junk email, or launch distributed denial-of-service attacks against innocent parties.

"Earlier this week, hackers were pretending that their emails pointed to a YouTube video. Before that, they posed as e-cards or breaking news stories. What's clear is that they will keep on adopting new disguises to try and infect the Windows computers of innocent Internet surfers," says Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.

"Some may find the prospect of viewing the next Beyoncé video irresistible. This is less of a technological problem, and more of a human problem," Cluley says. "It may sound like a broken record, because we say it so often, but people need to stop clicking on links in unsolicited emails or risk a computer virus infection."

Sophos says it has updated its software to detect and stop the malware from infecting users' machines. The company did not say which musical act is its favorite.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Sophos plc

    Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    News
    A Startup With NSA Roots Wants Silently Disarming Cyberattacks on the Wire to Become the Norm
    Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  5/11/2021
    Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
    Cybersecurity: What Is Truly Essential?
    Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5,  5/12/2021
    Commentary
    3 Cybersecurity Myths to Bust
    Etay Maor, Sr. Director Security Strategy at Cato Networks,  5/11/2021
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon Contest
    Current Issue
    2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
    We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
    Flash Poll
    How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
    How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
    Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2020-18178
    PUBLISHED: 2021-05-18
    Path Traversal in HongCMS v4.0.0 allows remote attackers to view, edit, and delete arbitrary files via a crafted POST request to the component "/hcms/admin/index.php/language/ajax."
    CVE-2020-20214
    PUBLISHED: 2021-05-18
    Mikrotik RouterOs 6.44.6 (long-term tree) suffers from an assertion failure vulnerability in the btest process. An authenticated remote attacker can cause a Denial of Service due to an assertion failure via a crafted packet.
    CVE-2020-20222
    PUBLISHED: 2021-05-18
    Mikrotik RouterOs 6.44.6 (long-term tree) suffers from a memory corruption vulnerability in the /nova/bin/sniffer process. An authenticated remote attacker can cause a Denial of Service (NULL pointer dereference).
    CVE-2020-20236
    PUBLISHED: 2021-05-18
    Mikrotik RouterOs 6.46.3 (stable tree) suffers from a memory corruption vulnerability in the /nova/bin/sniffer process. An authenticated remote attacker can cause a Denial of Service due to improper memory access.
    CVE-2020-20237
    PUBLISHED: 2021-05-18
    Mikrotik RouterOs 6.46.3 (stable tree) suffers from a memory corruption vulnerability in the /nova/bin/sniffer process. An authenticated remote attacker can cause a Denial of Service due to improper memory access.