Clinton-ISIS Clickbait Video Is a Figment of Cybercriminal’s Imagination
Many recipients of spam emails over the last few weeks have been convinced to open the messages in question owing to their desire to see the US Democrat presidential candidate
caught in a compromising position. Using the public’s insatiable appetite for dirt and scandal as far as politicians are concerned, the senders of spam emails have come up with a
topic that is guaranteed to arouse interest in even the most level-headed and politically disinterested of people across the globe: the promise of a video that shows Hillary Clinton
exchanging money with a shadowy figure from the ISIS terrorist organisation. While this may sound like an unlikely occurrence, it is easy to see why so many recipients have let their
desire for scandal overcome their common sense and opened the emails that claim to have the video attached.
Forewarned is Forearmed
While this warning may come too late for some, for those who have yet to receive an email that claims to have an attached video showing Hillary Clinton doing a deal with an ISIS leader,
the advice from IT security experts is clear: delete the email immediately. Do not open the email and whatever you do, make sure that you don’t click on any attachments.
While this particular spam campaign is based on a non-existent video of Hillary Clinton and a leading figure from ISIS, it is quite possible you will receive other
emails related to the US presidential election over the next couple of months and unless these emails come from a trustworthy source, you should treat them with extreme caution.
Companies that wish to ensure their corporate intranets are not compromised might like to consider installing a cloud-based anti spam filter to ensure their employees are
not bothered b y such emails.
The Dangers Lurking in Attachments
In the case of the Clinton-ISIS spam mail, the attachment that it is claimed contains a video file is actually a zip file that, when decompressed and opened,
is found to contain a malicious Java file rather than video evidence of a major scandal. If the code in the file is executed, it will install a remote-access
Trojan on the PC or smartphone the recipient uses to read the email, compromising the security not just of the machine in question but possibly the entire network
on which it is running as well. IT security specialists working for large organisations will not need to be told twice how dangerous this could be: once a backdoor
has been established in a corporate network, the security of all sorts of commercial data could be compromised.
A Watching Brief
Given that the US presidential election is still more than two months away, it is advisable to maintain a close eye on all email communications that you receive in the near
future and to treat any mail from unknown senders with grave suspicion. It is far easier to prevent a security breach in the first place than it is to fix it after the event.