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Beware malware myths involving Malaysia Flight MH370

malaysia-airlinesThe world is starting to get some answers about the fate of Malaysia Flight MH370, but we all still need to be on the lookout for fake news concerning the airplane’s fate. There are a huge number of emails promising news regarding the airplane, but are actually nothing more than eye-catching carriers for malware.

It’s a sad truth that whenever an event catches the world’s attention, criminals are quick to exploit the story with SPAM emails promising breaking news. The thieves use attention-seeking subject lines to encourage users to open the email, before promising new information if the reader clicks a web link.

Unfortunately for users, the link will often lead to a malware-ridden website – and a nasty infection.

For the most recent tragedy, the criminals have been ruthlessly proliferating false information while pretending to be reputable news network CNN. Below are some examples of the subject lines, which started circulating around mid-March:

“Shocking Video: Malaysian Airlines missing flight MH370 found at sea”

“Malaysian Airplane MH370 Already Found. Shocking Video Release Today by CNN”

“Plane has been spotted somewhere near Bermuda triangle. Shocking videos released today. CNN news”

The criminals use the same tricks every time there’s a big worldwide event, with the Boston bombings also receiving the same treatment.

As with all fake emails, the best way to avoid getting malware from this type of message is to avoid opening the email and to not click the link. If you don’t visit the website, you can’t be infected.

Depending on your email provider, you might also be able to help fight this kind of message in future. Companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft allow you to mark emails as SPAM or junk, with the information fed back into the company’s database.

If enough people get the email and mark it as junk mail, the company will investigate the source of the message and potentially block future emails from them, preventing this type of message in future.

Of course, it’s also a good idea to install anti-virus software on your computer to detect any malware that may have infected your system, especially if you share your computer with other, less experienced computer users.

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