Hackers begin malware barrage soon after Obama elected

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Hours after Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, cybercriminals began capitalizing on the historic news by delivering a barrage of malware-laden spam to users worldwide.

The emails were typical social-engineering ploys: They claimed to contain a video of an "amazing speech" by the president-elect but actually included a link to a trojan, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at endpoint security firm Sophos.

"They wasted no time at all," Cluley told SCMagazineUS.com. "It's just taking advantage of Obama-mania."

Sophos estimated some 60 percent of malicious spam on Wednesday was related to Obama. At least two security companies said they had seen about two million of the emails, which began arriving Wednesday morning EST.

The messages try to dupe victims into clicking on a link to download the latest version of Adobe Flash in order to view the video, Cluley said. Clicking on that link, however, installs a trojan.

Fake news website offering video of Barack Obama's win actually downloads trojan.

He said the spam resembles similar malicious email campaigns purporting videos of such celebrities as Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie.

Websense, meanwhile, said it was tracking a similar wave of spam that contained a trojan-laden video claiming to show interviews with Obama advisers.

Cluley also advised users to keep an eye out for malicious sites that are returning as "sponsored links" when typing common Obama-related search terms into Google.
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