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Guest Blog // Selected Security Content Provided By Sophos
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7/4/2009
02:41 AM
Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
Security Insights
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Independence Day Fireworks Video Carries Malware Payload

Hackers are taking advantage of American Independence Day celebrations by spamming out what pretends to be a link to a Fourth of July fireworks show, but is really an attempt to infect computers.

Hackers are taking advantage of American Independence Day celebrations by spamming out what pretends to be a link to a Fourth of July fireworks show, but is really an attempt to infect computers.The spams began to be sent out from a botnet of compromised computers on July 3rd, and link to what pretends to be a YouTube video page:

July 4th fireworks video or malware?

However, unlike any legitimate YouTube page, if you try and watch the video, then it tries to force you to download and run an executable in order to watch the fireworks show by the American Pyrtotechnics Association.

Of course, the executable you download is just a new piece of malware. In this case, detected as Mal/WaledPak-G and Mal/WaledJs-A.

Most people love fireworks, but you're not going to be celebrating if your PC becomes part of a botnet for criminals to commit identity theft and launch spam and malware campaigns.

Americans are not the only ones at risk from this attack either - people around the world with US-based friends may be tempted to follow the link and watch the video. Many Americans who are enjoying the long weekend may return to work on Monday morning not realising what may be waiting for them in their inbox.

Hackers have targeted other festivities in the past - Christmas, St Valentine's Day, Halloween, and even Labor Day.

While others are celebrating, the hackers are busy working - to steal money from you, identities, and convert your computer into a bot.

Graham Cluley is senior technology consultant at Sophos, and has been working in the computer security field since the early 1990s. When he's not updating his other blog on the Sophos website, you can find him on Twitter at @gcluley. Special to Dark Reading.

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