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Shameless malware distribution abuses Texas explosion and Boston Marathon Attack

Malware distributors are turning to recent events to get recipients to follow links to infected websites. The recent “Pope-themed” malware attack is one such example. The attacks at the Boston Marathon and the explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant have been quickly exploited with large quantities of emails sent out including subjects such as:

  • CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Fertilizer Plant Explosion
  • CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Fertilizer Plant Explosion Near Waco, Texas
  • Fertilizer Plant Explosion Near Waco, Texas
  • Texas Explosion Injures Dozens
  • Raw: Texas Explosion Injures Dozens
  • Texas Plant Explosion

Similar Boston Marathon-themed emails included subjects such as: 

  • Video of Explosion at the Boston Marathon 2013
  • BREAKING – Boston Marathon Explosion
  • Explosion at Boston Marathon
  • Aftermath to explosion at Boston Marathon

Commtouch’s subject cloud for Wednesday April 17th showed how dominant the malware attack was (larger text means the word featured in a larger numbers of email subjects).


The links lead to a Web page showing embedded YouTube clips of the bombings. The Texas explosion emails led to almost identical pages. Both pages include an invisible iframe that results in an executable malware download.