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Technology / Cybersecurity

Hackers take advantage of strong interest in royal baby

Cybercriminals have taken advantage of royal baby mania to launch a new hacking attack.

Emails have been sent out en masse promising the latest videos of Prince George of Cambridge, newly born son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Recipients of the spam emails were urged to click on a link to the non-existent videos that would instead download Trojan viruses onto their computers.

One of the emails, which claimed to have been sent by popular media marketing service, ScribbleLive, was titled ‘The Royal Baby: Live Updates’ and claimed to link to live CNN videos of Prince George.

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It stated: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have welcomed their first baby — a son and a future heir to the British throne — into the world. CNN has all the latest details of this momentous occasion."

Clicking the link prompted recipients to upgrade their Flash player plugin but downloaded the Trojan, which in turn steals personal information including banking details.

Computer programmers and security expert, Graham Cluley, commented: "It’s very likely that we will see more of this kind of attack. There are several common tricks hackers use – it could be asking you for a username and password to see photos of the baby, or making you complete an innocuous-looking survey."

"People should be careful what they’re clicking on Facebook and Twitter. Links can be automatically generated to include the trending hashtags. There are also a lot of joke pictures doing the rounds – if you get into the habit of clicking on them as soon as they’re posted, you’re less likely to be careful about where they come from."

This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.