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Cyber Criminals Using Digg.com to Distribute Adware

PandaLabs, the malware detection and analysis laboratory of Panda Security, has published its recent research findings that indicate cyber criminals are using the popular news collection service Digg.com to distribute an adware called VideoPlay.

Pretending to be legitimate members of Digg, these criminals lure readers into clicking on fraudulent links that lead to crafty videos posted on comments in forums dealing with news of celebrities. Some examples of the comments are "Jessica Simpson Hotel Sex Tape", "Megan Fox naked NEW SEX TAPE" and "Christian Bale freak out dubbed with video!".

These comments include a web link claiming to present the said video. However, when users double-click on the link, they are led to a page that prompts them to download a codec necessary to watch the video. However, following the instructions, the adware VedeoPlay downloads on their systems.

Adware VideoPlay is part of the same group of antivirus software that is designed for bogus functioning. Just as other malware behave, VideoPlay too falsely scans a computer by pretending to be an antivirus, after making the user believe that malware has infected his system.

According to PandaLabs, to make itself more convincing and genuine, VideoPlay puts obstacles in the system's accurate running. The purpose evidently is to earn revenue by selling the spurious security solution.

Furthermore, PandaLabs stated that based on the initial analysis of Digg, it found that over 50 profiles posted comments that enticed users into getting ensnared.

Meanwhile, Jen Burton, Community Manager of Digg, said that Digg was wholly aware of the problem and started making efforts to rectify it by instantaneously deactivating over 300 accounts doubted of disseminating malicious content, as reported by AFP on February 11, 2009.

Besides, while PandaLabs has recently reported the malicious activities on Digg.com, Dancho Danchev who works independently as a security consultant and regularly writes on security blogs has been following Digg and its bogus comment activity since last year (2008-09), as reported by SoftPedia on February 13, 2009. Danchev said he counted more than 500,000 comments that maliciously led to adult websites serving false video codec.

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