FBI says trio of terrorism e-mails are bunk

E-mail offering Bin Laden, weapons of mass destruction, Al-Qaeda info are scams.

The FBI today warned that three separate e-mails making the rounds that promise access to FBI terrorism reports are nothing more than malicious software looking to steal your personal information.  

The three scam-mails are: 

  • Fraudulent e-mail claiming to be from Department of Homeland Security and the FBI Counterterrorism Division.  Fraudulent e-mails containing the subject line "New DHS Report" have been circulating since August 15, 2009. The e-mails claim to be from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI Counterterrorism Division. The e-mail text contains information about "New Usama Bin Ladin Speech Directed to the People of Europe," and has an attachment titled "audio.exe." The attachment is purportedly an audio speech from Bin Ladin; however, it actually contains malicious software intended to steal information from the recipient's system. 
  • Fraudulent e-mail message claiming to contain a confidential FBI report titled "New Patterns in Al-Qaeda Financing" has been circulating since August 15, 2009. The e-mail has the subject line "Intelligence Bulletin No. 267," and contains an attachment titled "bulletin.exe." This message, or similar messages, may contain files that are harmful to the recipient's system and may try to steal user credentials. 
  • A fraudulent e-mail, initially appearing around June 16, 2009, claims to contain a confidential FBI report from the FBI "Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate." The subject line of the email is "RE: Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate," and contains an attachment "reports.exe". This message and similar messages may contain a file related to the "W32.Waledac" trojan software, which is designed to steal user authentication credentials or send spam messages. 

Below is an example of the fraudulent e-mail message:




Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate

HANDLING NOTICE: Recipients are reminded that FBI Intelligence Bulletins contain sensitive terrorism and counterterrorism information meant for use primarily within the law enforcement and homeland security communities. Such bulletins shall not be released, either in written or oral form, to the media, the general public, or other personnel who do not have a valid need-to-know without prior approval from an authorized FBI official, as such release could jeopardize national security.

Link to malicious software (report.exe)

The malware warning comes on the heels of an FBI report that fraudsters are targeting social networking sites with increased frequency and users need to take precautions. 

The FBI said scammers continue to hijack accounts on social networking sites and spread malicious software by using various techniques. One involves the use of spam to promote phishing sites, claiming there has been a violation of the terms of agreement or some other type of issue which needs to be resolved. Other spam entices users to download an application or view a video. Some spam appears to be sent from users' "friends", giving the perception of being legitimate. Once the user responds to the phishing site, downloads the application, or clicks on the video link, their computer, telephone or other digital device becomes infected, the FBI stated. 

Another fraudster favorite involves applications advertised on social networking sites, which appear legitimate; however, some of these applications install malicious code or rogue anti-virus software, the FBI stated.  

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