Freedom has a price, even on the Internet

With the power of the electronic age we live in, news travels faster than ever before.  With this wave of information, we have to keep vigilant and take caution in what we read, trust, click on, and share as we surf the web.  The morning of Monday, May 2 and throughout that day, information rapidly broke about the death of Osama Bin Laden.  As expected, malicious software began to spread based on this incident primarily thorough search engine results, mass emails, and social media.  Even advertisements on websites such as Facebook and Google may have been malicious in trying to trick you with fake offers that may entice you to click them and then linked you to viruses and spyware that infects your computer and could steal your personal information.

By late evening, hackers unleashed a wave of new spam emails, poisoned search results, and specially crafted websites — all designed to mislead people seeking news.  The more common ones promised unofficial photos of Bin Laden’s dead body, videos of the assault and other conspiracy theories surrounding the events.  These links are false, misleading and dangerous.  Do NOT click on them.

Facebook Spam Post Example

The attackers are taking advantage of the curiosity of users and the excitement of the public, and then spreading malware along with it.  If you must look for news and the latest information, stick to well-known sites that may have bookmarked and rely on those.  As no images or video of the operation have been released, any sites promoting them should automatically be considered suspicious.

Always use caution when clicking Internet links you may not be familiar with or knowingly trust.  Also, please use good judgment when searching around the Internet for information.