updated 02:35 pm EDT, Thu October 6, 2011
One page may have claimed over 21,000 victims
Scammers have quickly moved to exploit the news of Steve Jobs' death, notes Panda Security. Only hours after word emerged, a Facebook page titled "R.I.P. Steve Jobs" is said to have gone up, with text claiming that 50 free iPads were being given out "in memory of Steve Jobs." In reality the page existed simply to get people to visit a malicious URL, one which may be subjecting people to an expensive flood of spam SMS messages.
Over 90,000 people had become fans of the Facebook page by late Wednesday, at a rate about about five people per second. It was shut down sometime before 8AM Pacific time today, but may have infected a large number of computers, as over 21,000 people actually clicked the link in less than eight hours. A URL shortener used in the attack is believed to point to a webpage also used in exploiting the 10th anniversary of September 11th, as well was the predicted launch of an iPhone 5, now known to be the iPhone 4S.
Panda warns that it is "not unusual" for criminals to exploit major events to spread a scam as fast and widely as possible. Electronics "prizes" are said to be a common lure, including Apple hardware like iPads and iPhones. Location data is used to custom-tailor messages for different languages.