This Blog Is Retiring

I've just launched a social networking system for the Hoax-Slayer website that gives Hoax-Slayer visitors more opportunities to ask questions, interact and exchange information via integrated forums, blogs and chat facilities.

The new network will replace this blog as well as the Hoax-Slayer Forums.

You can have a look at it here:
Hoax-Slayer Social

posted by Brett Christensen @ 11:30 AM, ,


Chinese Earthquake Malware

Inboxes are currently being inundated by emails that supposedly link to important news about a devastating earthquake that hit China. However, the supposed news is entirely untrue. Clicking the links can open a bogus website that can trick the user into downloading and installing malware.

The malware emails capitalize on the earthquake that recently occurred in China by pretending that another such event has occurred. They also use mounting public excitement about the upcoming Olympic games as a ruse to entice people to click the bogus links. Some of the emails falsely claim that the Games may be canceled or postponed due to the supposed earthquake:
The emails have a number of subject lines and text, including those listed below.

Subject:The capital of China were collapsed by earthquake
Destruction in China continue [MALWARE LINK REMOVED]


Subject:2008 Olympic Games are under the threat
Death toll in China exceeds 1000000 [MALWARE LINK REMOVED]


Subject: Death toll in China is growing
Chinese people are horrified by new earthquake [MALWARE LINK REMOVED]


Subject:Earth tremors in China is going on
Destruction in China continue [MALWARE LINK REMOVED]


There are many other similar emails being distributed. If you receive any unsolicited email claiming to have news about an earthquake in China, do not click on any links or open any attachments that come with the message.

For more information, see:
New spam campaign targets Olympic Games fans

posted by Brett Christensen @ 8:46 AM, ,


Yet another "Hacker" hoax version

A series of fake "hacker" alert messages like the one below have been circulating via email and social networking websites such as Facebook. Many versions are virtually identical except for a change in the specified name and/or email address. The information in these warnings is untrue and should be disregarded.

For more information about these hacker hoaxes and a related "virus warning" hoax, refer to the Hoax-Slayer articles listed below:
Simon Ashton Email Hacker Hoax
Bum_tnoo7 Hacker Warning Hoax
MSN Contact List Virus Hoax

Subject: HACKER

If somebody called adam.slaney@ hotmail.co.uk adds you to their facebok account/invites you to be their friend DON'T accept it because it's a hacker. Tell everyone on your list because if somebody on yours adds them, you get them on your list and he'l figure out your ID computer addesss. So copy and paste this message to everyone even if you don't like them and fast..because if he hacks their mail, he hacks yours

posted by Brett Christensen @ 2:19 PM, ,


US Marine Advance Fee Scam

A favourite ruse employed by Internet fraudsters is to include a link in their initial scam email that leads to a reputable news website. When a potential victim clicks the link he or she will be taken to a news article that seemingly confirms the claims in the scam email. In this case, the link leads to a 2003 BBC news report about a large stash of money found in Baghdad by the US military. The article notes that several US soldiers were questioned after a portion of the funds was allegedly stolen. The BBC article itself is perfectly legitimate and reports on true events. However, the claims in the scam email are fictitious and have no connection whatsoever with the real incident described. The scammer poses as one of the soldiers questioned over the alleged theft and implies that he is still in possession of these stolen funds. Those who fall for the ruse and reply to the scam email will be promised a large percentage of the money if they are willing to help the "soldier" transfer the funds. However, to complete the "deal" the victim will be asked to provide upfront fees, ostensibly to cover transfer and banking expenses. The victim may also be asked to provide a substantial amount of personal and financial information which may later be used to steal his or her identity.

Don't be fooled by unsolicited emails that promise lucrative deals, even if they contain links to news articles that supposedly relate to the scammers claims. For details about Advance Fee scams, see:
Nigerian Scams - 419 Scam Information


An example of the scam email:

Subject: CONFIRM WHAT I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU

Attn dear,

Good day to you,I know you would be surprised to read from someone relatively
unknown to you before now. My name is Master Sgt. Edward Ramirez, a soldier in the U.S. Marine, deployed to Iraq in the beginning of the war in 2003. I would like to share some highly personal and classified information with you regarding my personal experience and role which I played in the pursuit of my career serving under the U.S ARMY which was at the fore-front of the war in iraq

However, I would like to hold back certain information for security reasons for now until you have found time to visit the BBC website stated below to enable you have insight regarding what I intend to share with you, believing that it would be of your desired interest in one way or the other. Here is a BBC news listing that confirms what I share with you

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm

I need your assistance to secure a certain deposit of funds which originated from the source mentioned in the webpage above. My proposal is of mutual benefit to us and should be treated as such. I must say that I'm very uncomfortable sending this message to you without knowing truly if you would misconstrue the importance of confidentiality in this regards and decide to go public.If you are interested and willing to assist, please contact me immediately to enable me
provide you with further details.Thank you for your understanding.

Kindest regards,
Master Sgt. Edsummer Ramirez

posted by Brett Christensen @ 10:37 AM, ,


Beware of Malicious April Fools Emails

Inboxes are currently being hit by April Fools Day malware emails similar to the following:

Subject: All Fools' Day
Surprise! http:[Link removed]

The messages have a number of subjects, including those listed below:

I am a Fool for your Love
Join the Laugh-A-Lot!
One who is sportively imposed upon by others on the first day of April
Surprise!
Surprise! The joke's on you.
Today's Joke!
Today You Can Officially Act Foolish
Wise Men Have Learned More from Fools
All Fools' Day
April Fools' Day
Doh! All's Fool.
Doh! April's Fool.
Gotcha!
Gotcha! All Fool!
Gotcha! April Fool!
Happy All Fool's Day.
Happy All Fools Day!
Happy All Fools!
Happy April Fool's Day.
Happy April Fools Day!
Happy April Fools!

Clicking the link in these malicious emails can open a seemingly funny webpage that is designed to trick the visitor into downloading and installing a trojan. Be very cautious of clicking links in emails related to April Fools Day.

For more information, see:
April Fools Dorf

posted by Brett Christensen @ 12:16 PM, ,


Virus in Digital Photo Frames

Digital photo frames are becoming more popular and make excellent gifts. The frames allow users to transfer digital images from their computers and display them either individually or as dynamic slide shows. Many have other functions as well, including calendars, clocks and video playback.

Recently however, it was discovered that a number of Insignia brand digital frames sold by Best Buy were infected by a computer virus. This presented the possibility that the user's computer could become infected by the virus when the device was plugged into a computer to transfer photos. It seems that some frames somehow became infected with the virus during the manufacturing process.

Insignia recalled the infected frames as soon as it became aware of the problem and has issued a statement about the incident on its website.

Luckily, the virus is an old one and virtually any reliable and up-to-date anti-virus program should be able to deal with it before it causes problems on the user's computer.

So, although it may have affected some users, this cannot be considered a serious problem and is an isolated incident. What it does illustrate, however, is that, when it comes to computer security, we must remain constantly vigilant. Security threats can sometimes originate from the most unlikely of sources.

posted by Brett Christensen @ 4:17 PM, ,


Valentine Malware Emails

Criminals are now using love-themed Valentine's Day email's to trick recipients into installing a trojan. The emails contain a short message and link like the one included below:

Subject: Sending You My Love
Hugging My Pillow http://72 .[removed]


The emails have a number of subject lines, including the following:

The short message in front of the link also varies.

Clicking the link opens a web page which prompts the user to download what is supposedly a Valentine's Day Greeting Card. However, the download actually installs a variant of the Storm worm.

Be wary of any email message that supposedly leads to an online greeting card. The tactic has been used continually for months and has previously targeted different holidays such as 4th July, Christmas and New Year.

A screen shot of the malware website:

Trojan Website screenshot

posted by Brett Christensen @ 8:10 AM, ,