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Scammers exploit Ebola panic with malware and spam because everything is awful

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"The #1 Food Items You'll Need In An EBOLA Crisis."

CDC / Frederick Murphy

Cybercriminals and spammers are once again taking advantage of a frightened public, unleashing malware designed to capitalize on the recent Ebola panic. The attacks include fake safety tips from the World Health Organization (WHO), an advisory from the Mexican government, and a swathe of spam with sensationalist subject lines.

SHOCKING Health Alert: Secret Cure for Ebola

The alleged emails from WHO supposedly carry a DarkComet Remote Access Trojan (RAT), which can hide from antivirus software. Once installed inside a computer, it provides a hacker access to the victim's files, webcam, sound capture, passwords, and so on. Meanwhile, the fake email from the Mexican government contains instructions on how to enable the Macro function in Microsoft Word, thereafter leading to the download of a malware attachment. Worrying as that may sound, reputable information security company Trustwave says that the attacks represent a 'low volume campaign" rather than a large-scale assault on the internet.

Most fascinating, however, is the landslide of spam emails, which include subject lines like:

  • RE: Ebola Survival Guide
  • What you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak
  • So Really, How Do You Get Ebola?
  • Ebola virus outbreak: Curing Breakthrough Revealed?
  • SHOCKING Health Alert: Secret Cure for Ebola?
  • HEALTH NEWS: Secret Cure for Ebola?
  • Is there ANY way to cure Ebola?
  • First GMO foods, now Ebola. What Obama doesn't want you to know.
  • Ebola, GMO, What they don't want you to know.
  • SHOCKING Health Alert: Ebola is spreading
  • EBOLA Outbreak - FEMA Storing 250,000 Plastic Coffins
  • You won't believe what Obamacare & Ebola have in common.
  • Ebola Outbreak Now WORSE Than We're Being Told
  • Ebola & Obamacare - a match made in heaven.
  • CDC ALERT: 1.4 Million EBOLA Victims by January?
  • The #1 Food Items You'll Need In An EBOLA Crisis
  • SHOCKING Health Alert: Secret Cure for Ebola

Based on the collection of apocalyptic tabloid-style headlines, it's clear that the people responsible are aware of society's fears, and happy to take advantage of them.