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Facebook Scammers Exploit Steve Jobs' Death, According To PandaLabs

Fraudsters used social network to redirect users to a malicious website offering free iPads
ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- PandaLabs, Panda Security's anti-malware laboratory, detected a malicious link on Facebook that was being used to exploit the news of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Just a few hours after Steve Jobs' death, scammers had created a Facebook page called "R.I.P. Steve Jobs" which contained a malicious URL and a text claiming that 50 free iPads were being given away 'in memory of Steve Jobs.' The page gained five new fans every second and amassed more than 90,000 fans since late yesterday.

As of approximately 8:00 AM PDT this morning, the page has been disabled, but it's unknown as to how many users' PCs have become infected since more than 21,000 users clicked the link in less than eight hours.

"Unfortunately, as soon as we learned of Steve Jobs' death, we knew scammers would start to figure out how to exploit it," said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. "It is not unusual for cyber-crooks and fraudsters to take advantage of headline-grabbing events to spread their creations and affect the maximum number of victims possible in a short period of time."

These scams work by tricking users into visiting websites where they are told they have won a valuable prize, such as an iPad, an iPhone or TV set. Obviously, the unsuspecting victim will never get the prize, but rather a series of costly spam SMS messages. In addition, malicious websites like these leverage geo-location data to display messages in different languages depending on the user's location.

The URL shortening service used in the scam seems to indicate this is the same malicious webpage used in similar attacks around the anticipated launch of the iPhone 5 and the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

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About PandaLabs

Since 1990, PandaLabs, Panda Security's malware research laboratory, has been working to detect and classify malware in order to protect consumers and companies against new Internet threats. To do so, PandaLabs uses Collective Intelligence, a cloud-based proprietary system that leverages the knowledge gathered from Panda's user community to automatically detect, analyze and classify the more than 73,000 new malware strains that appear every day. This automated malware classification is complemented through the work of an international team with researchers specialized each in a specific type of malware (viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and other attacks) to provide global coverage. Get more information about PandaLabs and subscribe to its blog news feed at

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