Crooks use Boston footage to hijack your computer - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Crooks use Boston footage to hijack your computer

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Crooks are using the public's desire for more information on the Boston bombing to take over personal computers.

"Everyone's heart goes out for the people that got hurt. Everyone wants to know the news have we caught the bomber yet," UAB researcher and malware tracker, Gary Warner, said.

Warner says cyber criminals are capitalizing on that curiosity with emails that contain malicious links. They either come with a simple link in the body or could be disguised as the latest video from a national news source.

"You're going to click it and the scary thing is when you click it, it shows you videos from YouTube," Warner said.

It is video of exactly what the email promised, but Warner says the virus is being loaded onto your computer in the background while you are watching. Once infected, your computer will be under the spammers' control.

"It's aggressively sending out spam messages where the objective is to send out more spam to get more and more computers involved," Warner said.

He says the last time he saw a malicious spam campaign like this one was two and a half years ago and it had one very similar trait.

"It was also claiming to be news videos. It's a very good lure if someone is going to click on something," Warner said.

The researcher says if you see it, do not click and if you already have, it may be time to call the pros.

"The problem is we scanned the virus with 46 different virus programs and 8 knew it was a virus," Warner said. "There's a really good chance your current antivirus is not going to protect you from this thing."

Warner says spam is usually used for two reasons, to destroy something or for financial gain. So far, in this case, Warner says it looks like victim's financial records have already been targeted.

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