Scammers pounce on election of Pope Francis

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Internet security firm Internet Trend Micro has found Internet attacks taking advantage of the worldwide interest surrounding Pope Francis? inauguration.

Credit: episcopaldigitalnetwork.com

By sending spam with disguised news links, the malicious emails look very much like real news alerts from official media websites, . However, the disguised links eventually lead to malware.

Trend Micro said this new spam campaign intrigues users into clicking on the links in the emails by using headlines related to Pope Francis and controversies surrounding the Catholic Church.

The content of these phishing emails are mostly identical to legitimate messages, for example, a news alert from CNN.

However, the embedded links in these spam campaigns will lead users to sites that have been compromised by Blackhole Exploit Kit (BHEK), a tool that has been used to deliver wide variety of malware.

?The Blackhole Exploit Kit (BHEK) spam runs have been going for some time now and it continues to have high activity,? said Paul Oliveria, security focus lead of Trend Labs at Trend Micro.

?Users should be vigilant when receiving emails with links, in order to prevent harms from malware and phishing.?

BHEK delivers malware like Infostealers, Backdoors, Remote Access Trojans, and Rootkits, which could put users in grave danger of having their information stolen or getting their devices linked into botnets.

?Catholic or non-Catholic, Pope Benedict?s resignation and the new pope?s inauguration are news items that can pique anybody?s interest,? Oliveria said.

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