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Sunday, 24 January 2010 19:12

Here comes the Johnny Depp RIP malware

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Is Johnny Depp dead? No. But that won't stop the malware merchants exploiting the confusion?

Johnny Depp is NOT dead no matter what the trending topics list at Twitter, or the tweeting masses for that matter, might be saying.

It's just an old hoax that has somehow been resurrected and taken as Gospel courtesy of the fact that Twitter is now regarded (sometimes correctly) as a breaking news source. That Google includes such trending topics in search results just reinforces that belief of course.

Let's leave behind the Chinese Whispers or Serious Source argument though, shall we, and instead look at the security implications of Johnny Depp not being dead. As strange as that might sound, it is very serious indeed.

We've seen in the past how the death of a celebrity can be hijacked by scammers and spammers and bad guys alike. Most recently and most infamously in the case of Michael Jackson.

Just because Depp is very much still alive does not mean that the same malware merchants will not bother coming out to play, they will. In fact, the being alive aspect of the story makes it even more appealing.

After all, the search engines are currently buzzing with folk desperately trying to find out the truth. Leaving the bad guys ample opportunity to attempt search engine poisoning scams, and the spammers to get going with their malicious link campaigns.

Twitter will be ripe for the link picking, so I suggest you are very careful indeed about which links you follow with regards to the Johnny Depp story over the next few days.

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