Massive Spam and Malware Campaign Following Boston Tragedy

On April 16th at 11:00pm GMT, the first of two botnets began a massive spam campaign to take advantage of the recent Boston tragedy. The spam messages claim to contain news concerning the Boston Marathon bombing, reports Craig Williams from Cisco. The spam messages contain a link to a site that claims to have videos of explosions from the attack. Simultaneously, links to these sites were posted as comments to various blogs.

The link directs users to a webpage that includes iframes that load content from several YouTube videos plus content from an attacker-controlled site. Reports indicate the attacker-controlled sites host malicious .jar files that can compromise vulnerable machines.

On April 17th, a second botnet began using a similar spam campaign. Instead of simply providing a link, the spam messages contained graphical HTML content claiming to be breaking news alerts from CNN.

Cisco became aware of a range of threats forming on April 15th when hundreds of domains related to the Boston tragedy were quickly registered. Regarding the botnet spam-specific threat – from a volume perspective – peaks approach 40% of all spam being sent. (Source: Cisco)

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