Monday, January 19, 2009

New Rogue Websites Announcing Barack Obama's Resignation Turn Users' Computers into 'Zombies' says PandaLabs

/PRNewswire/ -- PandaLabs, Panda Security's malware analysis and detection laboratory, has detected 40 websites that are using Barack Obama, President-elect of the United States, as bait to spread malware. These pages contain the following headline: "Barack Obama has refused to be a President."

If users try to read the article a dialog box is displayed asking them to download a file. However, if they do so, a number of malicious files will infiltrate their computers. These files turn the affected computer into a 'zombie' computer, remotely controlled by cyber-criminals. An image of the fake Obama website can be viewed here:

"These zombie computers are normally networked to form 'botnets', as the malicious code that allows remotely controlling them is called a 'bot'," explains Ryan Sherstobitoff, chief corporate evangelist, Panda Security. "Botnets are then hired by cyber-crooks to third-parties that use zombie computers with malicious purposes such as sending spam or launching denial of service attacks."

According to PandaLabs, the attack appears have originated from China, as all domains have been bought to a Chinese company with a long record of malware attacks.

This is not the first time that Barack Obama has been used by cyber-criminals to distribute malware. Even during the presidential campaign and the days that followed the election, false news stories circulated that led to malware downloads.

For more information about this attack, go to the PandaLabs blog: k-Obama_2700_s-Website.aspx.

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