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Email Claiming US Gold Medal Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas Faces Lifetime Ban Used to Spread Malware

Outline
Recently discovered emails claim that United States Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas, Gold Medalist in the 2012 London Summer Olympics, is facing a lifetime ban after testing positive for a banned diuretic. 



Brief Analysis
The email prompts the reader to follow a link to view a faked YouTube page that is used to spread malware.    

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: August 6, 2012
First published: August 6, 2012
Article researched and written by David M. White
About Hoax-Slayer


Example

Subject: Huge scandal with the USA Women's Gymnastics Team

Recent Olympic gold medal winner, USA Women's Gymnastics winner Gabrielle Douglas, faces a lifetime ban after reportedly testing positive to banned diuretic furosemide. With details of the case still emerging, British Olympics Committee has ordered a suspension of the athlete until final results arrive.

View the video on youtube now


Gaberielle Douglas Malware



Detailed Analysis
The experts at Appriver have recently discovered this email, noting it is being spread by at least 30 different domains.  The fake YouTube tactic has been used a number of times in the past to spread malware by prompting the viewer that they must update to a newer version of Flash Video Player.   The download is actually an executable file that installs malware which turns the victim’s computer into a zombie part of the Pushdo botnet.  

The purported subjects of these fake videos are socially engineered to be enticing to potential viewers by using titillating or controversial subjects; in this case, a newly crowned Olympic champion being disgraced in a non-existent doping scandal. Because the Olympics are an international event that crosses almost all cultural barriers, viewers should also be alert for any similar attacks using stories about any other Olympic gold medalists.

While this is currently only spreading via email, it is always possible that enterprising cybercriminals will eventually turn out a Facebook targeted version.  As always, readers are encouraged to use common sense and critical thinking before clicking on links with shocking or salacious titles.  Even if it is from someone you know, would they really be sending you something of that nature?  And of course always make certain your antivirus software is up to date.

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References

Fake Gabby Douglas YouTube Videos Spreading Botnet Infection
AKE YOUTUBE PAGES SPREADS MALWARE [ALERT]
New tool creates fake YouTube pages for spreading malware
Pushdo botnet
Spam Alert: Video of Gabby Douglas Banned from Olympics for Using Drugs


Last updated: August 6, 2012
First published: August 6, 2012
Article researched and written by David M. White
About Hoax-Slayer