Fake news about celebrity deaths and impending natural disasters are often employed by online scammers and malware peddlers aiming to trick users into clicking on malicious links without thinking.
The latest of these campaigns comes in the form of a bogus email news report from News.com.au purportedly offering a link to a “leaked video of a secret meeting at the australian agency of volcanology and seismology.”
The email claims that the aforementioned non-existent agency expects a tsunami to hit Australian shores on New Year’s Eve 2013 following a massive earthquake, and that it hasn’t warned Australian citizens about it to avoid panic.
“For more details click on watch now to watch the complete video that was leaked secretly from the australian agency of volcanology and seismology,” the email finishes off and offers a big red “Watch Now” button for the recipients to click on.
Unfortunately for those who weren’t able to suppress their curiosity, the news report is totally bogus and clicking on the link triggers an automatic download of a malicious file.
Hoax-Slayer doesn’t mention what the malware does, but the good news is that the file must be manually opened by the users in order to get installed on the machine.
He also warns against this type of sensationalistic emails and advises users to do a search via an online news site such as Google News if they absolutely want to know details about the matter.
“If the report is factual, there is is likely to be other reports about it on legitimate news websites,” he points out.