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Osama Bin Laden – Poster Boy of the Cyber Terrorists?

May 6, 2011

Even after his death, Osama Bin Laden remains, at least for now, one of the FBI’s most wanted after becoming the focus of a scam claiming to provide images the dead Al Qaida leader, or video of his killing.  It’s not a new tactic – something similar was tried after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami – but given the interest in, and apparent unwillingness by President Obama to deliver, proof of Osama’s death the ne’er-do-well’s are making cyber hay on email and social networks.

Clicking on a link contained in an email or a post on a social network is said to potentially wipe hard-drives, steal user information and sends an email to all contacts in an Outlook or social media address books.  The damage it could do to a corporate network doesn’t even bear thinking about! While most networks will have stringent security measures they’ll undoubtedly be watching network management consoles nervously in the coming days and weeks: anomalous net flow, unauthorized configuration changes of critical systems or large volumes of failed log-ins could all signal something is wrong.  Correlating multiple data points will help confirm it.

While, we are told, Osama may not be able to wage a physical terror campaign he is, at least for now, continuing to be the source of many sleepless nights for information security professionals.

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