Did the President Infect Your Computer?

By January 28, 2009

With the advent of Presidency 2.0, we’re seeing the government interface with citizens in incredible new ways. Including the president sending us worms. As much as President Obama’s my.barakobama.com has changed the role of governance, one thing it hasn’t been able do is beef up the poor security social networks are notorious for. Hackers have targeted President Obama’s site, using it to spread malware. Websense Security Labs, finders of the latest attacks, says that hackers are creating fake blogs on the President’s site.

These fake blogs contain a YouTube link which sends users to a porn site that calls for the downloading of a video codec, which is in actuality a Trojan that has a 35-percent detection rate by major anti-virus software.

PandaLabs has also identified a botnet running a fake my.barakobama.com site that downloads malware if the user clicks on a link saying “Barak Obama has refused to be a president.” Why the hackers didn’t put the code in a more believable link is anybody’s guess.

This continues a trend of Obama hacks. Earlier this month, the Downadup worm infected more than 3.5 million PCs in a 24-hour span. One of the main ways the virus spread was by faked Obama inauguration sites spamming email accounts.

"The main fake Web site was superobamaonline.com, which has now been taken offline; however more are likely to appear," said Jart Armin, security specialist for HostExploit. "It shows registration via XIN NET Technology Corp. of China; however, this domain registrar has been primarily used by Russian cybercriminals."

President Obama put social networks in the political spotlight. Perhaps now his use of them will highlight the security problems inherent in these sites. Analysts expect that as long as Obama maintains his 2.0 presence, hackers will continue to swim in his trail.

“(W)e can be sure that the frequency and intensity of malicious campaigns aimed at anyone seeking to engage with the President online will only increase,” says Websense’s blog. “The malicious hackers will also seek new ways to abuse Web 2.0 functionality on any of the new administration's online properties.”

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