Scammers Take Advantage of Steve Jobs’ Departure


I’m a huge of admirer of Steve Jobs and I mourn for his demise along with a couple of hundred million others from all over the world. Though he was expected to depart this life weeks after he was diagnosed with a rare type of pancreatic cancer in 2004, the tech world was never really ready to let go of such a brilliant mind.

Ironic as it is, the things that make Steve Jobs great are also the very reason why he’s the perfect figure to use against the public. Scammers are taking advantage of the visionary’s death by turning it into the impelling cause for unknowing victims to click malicious links.

One such scam claims that free iPads will be given away in memory of Steve’s death. Users are asked to take online surveys to qualify for the raffle. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble but the chance of getting free iPad from taking one of those surveys is probably zero. To make matters worse, there are links that will lead you to a blank page. It’s probably packed with malicious codes that will run on the background unbeknownst to the user. And then the next thing you know, you’re already a victim of a hackjob. Congratulations!

One of the ways scammers earn from such scheme is through affiliate cash. They drive traffic to websites to convert users into customers or induce them into taking online surveys and joining competitions.

In two other rip-offs, there’s a link that lures people to “Donate to Steve’s favourite charities as a tribute” and another one that says “Steve Jobs Alive” or “Steve Jobs Not Dead”. If you’re genuinely interested in contributing to his charities, the best way to do that is through Apple’s website itself. And Steve Jobs is really dead so don’t easily believe those who say otherwise.

Other recent figures used in the same type of capitalism include Amy Winehouse and Osama Bin Laden. One that concerned Amy Winehouse was a blackhat search engine optimization (SEO) attack that redirects people to a fake scanning page to trick them into downloading a malware. The malicious file this downloads is a FAKEAV binary detected as TROJ_FAKEAV.CLS.

Meanwhile, while people are busy arguing about whether or not Bin Laden actually died during the shootout that happened in the Middle East, scammers think that a fake video of Osama’s deadbody would be the best guise for its hotbar, a kind of adware tool.