A spam campaign doing the rounds on Twitter that implausibly offers to show a picture, and then a video, of US President Obama punching someone in the face is ultimately designed to spread the infamous Koobface worm.
Prospective victims typically receive a direct message on Twitter, which contains the text “Check out Obama punch a guy in the face for calling him a n%£$*r”, and a malicious link to a fake Facebook page. This fake page confronts users with a request to submit their Twitter login credentials, as a blog post by Panda Security warns.
Users foolhardy enough to follow this request end up with compromised Twitter accounts, while their followers on the micro-blogging site receive further malware lures as direct messages, perpetuating the scam.
Instead of gaining access to the non-existent Obama right hook, victims are transported to a website that displays a fake YouTube video set against a fake Facebook background. Those stupid enough to go through with instruction to update their "YouTube player" to watch the video end up installing a variant of the Koobface worm.
The malware steals personal data from compromised machines.
Koobface is a strain of malware that has bedevilled social networking users (particularly on Facebook) since late 2008. The worms has earned scammers income principally through pay-per-install malware in the past, so the latest variant is a bit of a departure that essentially cuts out the middleman in personal data and ID theft scams.
It's unclear how many victims have been hit by the two-part Obama sucker punch scam, which represents another example of how cybercrooks are increasingly attempting to use social networks as a means to spread malware.
"This attack exploits the two most popular social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, to trick users into believing they are viewing a trusted site," said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. "It also relies on its victims’ curiosity by using a scandalous story involving US President Barack Obama and racism. Cyber-criminals know people are curious by nature and take advantage of this to trick users."
The countries most affected by this outbreak, which has claimed an estimated 2,000 victims, are the UK and Sweden, according to Panda.
Corrons added that users who follow a few common sense rules are far less likely to fall victim of these types of malware scams.
"As a general rule, always keep your antivirus software up to date and be wary of messages offering sensational videos or unusual stories as, in 99 percent of cases they are designed to compromise user security," he warned. ®