Not surprisingly, malware authors are using the recent deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett to distribute their unwanted code to unwary computer users.
Guilherme Venere, writing on the McAfee Avert Labs blog, comments: "Every time a disaster happens or news about some celebrity reaches the media, malware writers try to take advantage of it.
"The most common attack vector is email. Watch out for spam offering links to 'news' or 'pictures' of deceased celebrities. Most of the time, they will take you to web sites offering advertisements for pharmacy products such as Viagra and Cialis or, even worse, will try to install malware on your machine."
Venere warns that another way used to attract visitors looking for news is a technique known as search engine optimisation (SEO).
"Blackhats use SEO to inflate search engine results in an attempt to put their results on top of the list and drive more users to fake web sites offering 'more information' about the current trendy news. When the users click on the fake links, they are susceptible to any kind of attack, spyware or malware installation, or information theft.
Dave Cowing, senior manager at Symantec Security Response, agrees that users are more vulnerable if they click on links about celebrities' deaths.
"History tells us propagators of spam and malicious code will inevitably attempt to play on the public's emotions and curiosity around these events and attempt to use them to exploit computer users," he says. "At this point, Symantec is seeing spam spreading around these tragedies, but none of it has related to malicious code so far.
"It seems right now, activity is limited to spammers simply trying to raise their click rates, and that's not uncommon to see with these types of events," he adds.
Some of the things Symantec does expect to see as attackers seek to further take advantage of these tragedies include:
* Spam with subject lines related to any of these deaths trying to peddle fake medicines.
* Spam with subject lines related to any of these deaths leading to misleading applications, such as fake antivirus software.
* Spam with subject lines related to any of these deaths leading to fake codecs.
* Spam with subject lines related to any of these deaths with malware attached.
* Search engine poisoning campaigns injecting malicious sites into the top search engine results related to any of these deaths.
* Sites claiming to host videos of the last moments of these individuals lives, but that actually peddle fake medicines or malware.
* Links to fake videos of these stars that actually attempt to infect users with malware.
* Social networking site messages related to these deaths which could be W32.Koobface.
* Twitter tweets about these deaths leading to all sorts of malicious Web sites.