Spam Alert: Video of Gabby Douglas Banned from Olympics for Using Drugs

Another big event is abused by the owners of a spam botnet

By on August 4th, 2012 10:44 GMT

The fact that Gabby Douglas won two gold medals in Women’s Gymnastics at the London 2012 Olympics has already become a topic that’s used by cybercriminals. They’re sending out spam messages which claim that the gymnast faces a lifetime ban for using drugs.

Entitled “Huge scandal with the USA Women’s Gymnastics Team on the 2012 London Olympics,” the email sample found by AppRiver reads:

Recent Olympic gold medal winner, USA Women’s Gymnastics winner Gabrielle Douglas faces a lifetime ban after testing positive to banned diuretic furosemide. With details of the case still emerging, British Olympics Committee has ordered a suspension of the athlete until final results arrive.

View the video on YouTube now.


Of course, the story is completely bogus, but the cybercriminals are aware of the fact that such outrageous pieces of news have a high chance of attracting attention.

Users who click on the link to view the alleged video are taken to a website that replicates YouTube. In order to watch the footage that presumably shows Gabby Douglas and the scandal, victims are requested to download a “newer version of Flash Player.”

The file, named adobe-flashplayer-update.exe, is actually a piece of malware that contains an SMTP engine which turns the victim’s computer into a zombie part of the Pushdo botnet, considered to be one of the largest spam botnets in the world a few years ago.

Internauts are advised to be on the lookout for fake stories such as this one. As always, we recommend that you ignore shocking headlines that arrive via unsolicited emails.

In some cases, such messages may come from the compromised accounts of your friends, that’s why you must treat such headlines with maximum suspicion even if they appear to be originating from a trusted individual.

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