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Videos of the MH17 crash could land you in trouble

Security experts are finding hackers and spammers exploiting social networks.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Videos claiming to contain actual footage of a missile shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are being used by scammers to spread spam on Facebook, according to several security experts.

Those who follow links to the videos are taken to a variety of sites featuring porn, malware, and forms seeking to harvest personal information, as confirmed by anti-spam group Spamhaus and security website Hoax-Slayer.

Richard Cox, chief information officer of Spamhaus, told the BBC: "This is all based on a somewhat tasteless video that probably doesn’t exist and is presented in a completely tasteless way."

He speculated that spammers were using software to determined which topics were trending.

"It is a fairly rapid and predictable response by the individuals behind it. They are all to make money. There is no compassion involved," he added.

A spokesman from Facebook encouraged its users to report "suspicious behaviour" and block those responsible for it, having confirmed the removal of one instance of the scam.

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The campaign is similar to one that exploits the #MH17 Twitter hashtag to deliver malware and spam to those seeking information about the event, as reported by security firm Trend Micro.

"We expect that as soon as more details of the MH17 crash unfolds, cybercriminals will launch other attacks that may possibly lead to personal information theft and system infection," the firm said.

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