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    Cybercriminals once again used the passing of Michael Jackson, the ‘King of Pop,’ a few days ago as an opportunity to go about with their malicious activities and attack innocent users.

    We spotted an email (see Figure 1 below) about Michael Jackson’s death written in Spanish claiming to be from CNN Mexico.

    Click Click

    Upon closer analysis (see Figure 2 above), we found that the sender of the email isn’t valid – which is a spammed sender. The email also contained accurate information about Michael Jackson, buying itself credibility in order to lure users into clicking the links contained within the message.

    The said email also contained a suspicious-looking link to an ‘exclusive CNN video’ about the event. Most of the other links on the spammed message were inaccessible and could not display the correct website. But one link—el sitio en internet TMZ (translated to English: ‘found in the TMZ website’)—which was a link to the site where the video is supposedly hosted but it redirects the user to another malicious site—http://{BLOCKED}.com/openbb/avatars/imagen/CNN/indexx.php. The threat in the said page is detected by Trend Micro as HTML_DLOADR.ARM.

    Click Flash

    This site does not contain anything but a black background and a message box telling the user that the Flash player version running on his/her system cannot play the said video. The message box contains three buttons (see Figure 3 above), clicking any of which will trigger the download of a malicious file—flash-installer-windows.exe—which claims to be the right Flash player version that will allow him/her to view the exclusive video. The said malicious file is detected as BKDR_IRCBOT.BW. BKDR_IRCBOT.BW connects to a certain IRC server and then joins an IRC channel where it waits for commands from a remote user.

    Quite notable is that even if a user chooses the Cancel button, which should allow him/her to quit from downloading the file, the site will continue to push the download of the codec, leaving users with no choice but to deal with the malicious file downloaded into their system.

    The spam message and malicious website used in this attack are already blocked by the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network.

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