How do you know when a computer virus has officially jumped the fence to become a media sensation? Probably when scammers start using popular interest in it as bait for their own malware.
So it is with the Stuxnet worm, which was identified in July, but has become the focus of intense media scrutiny since speculation aired that the computer worm was actually designed to take out Iranian nuclear facilities.
According to a blog post by Trend Micro, researcher Ivan Macalintal has found evidence of SEO attacks that play off of interest in Stuxnet, with results for searches like “Stuxnet SCADA,” “Stuxnet cleanup” and “Stuxnet Siemens” leading Web surfers to drive by download sites that exploit known vulnerabilities in Windows Help Center and Java, as well as to sites pushing malicious Adobe PDF and Flash files to victims’ computers and ultimately installs noxious fake antivirus software, Trend writes.
This isn’t the first time that online scammers have traded on popular interest in someone else’s malware to push their own malware. Trend notes that concern about the Conficker worm was used by spammers pushing fake antivirus software, as well.