In one of the least surprising computer security news events of 2011, the death of longtime Libyan leader, and self-proclaimed “African King of Kings” Colonel Muammar Qaddafi spawned a slew of online scams.
Within hours of Qaddafi’s capture and death at the hands of Libyan rebels, security firms spotted spam e-mail proffering malicious links and attachments, many claiming to be grisly, Qaddafi death-photos.
One fraudulent email purports to be an AFP news article containing photos of Qaddafi’s dead body, but instead delivers a malicious file targeting Windows users, Naked Security reported.
Online scams built on the death of celebrities or major news events are common. Already this year, the deaths of Steve Jobs, Osama bin Laden, Amy Winehouse, and Elizabeth Taylor have spawned malicious campaigns targeting the curious online. In the case of Qaddafi, the easy availability of actual grisly photo of the leader’s capture and death may make it easier for attackers to lure victims into clicking on attachments.