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Security Response

Malware Attacks Targeting Hugo Chavez’s Death

Created: 08 Mar 2013 09:47:56 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:09:05 GMT • Translations available: 日本語
Carlos Mejia's picture
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Rumors of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s death were rampant on the news and Internet over the past month, and last Tuesday, the Venezuelan Vice President confirmed that Chavez died after a two year battle with cancer. Chavez’s death has triggered reactions worldwide, from world leaders to ordinary citizens, and everyone is talking about his ideas and actions as Venezuelan President. At the same speed as the news is spreading, cybercriminals are using this opportunity to send malicious links related to his death as well as hypothetical theories about the cause of his sickness and death.

All the links that we have seen contain malware. Some domains have been registered recently and others seem to have been hijacked.

Here is an example email used in these attacks:

The following URLs are the malicious links that we have observed:

Symantec has observed that spammers typically use breaking news to send out emails leading to malicious threats usually less than a day after the news is released.

Be careful when searching for news and current events. Do not open suspicious links or attachments that you may receive in unsolicited emails and keep your security software up to date.

Thanks to Ruby Yang for collecting the samples used in this blog.