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Search Results Related to Rihanna, Link to Malicious Codes

According to the reports from SOFTPEDIA on May 9, 2009, several personal photographs possibly belonging to Rihanna, the US pop-singer, appeared on a number of online sites on May 9, 2009 as they displayed the star in conciliatory poses.

The news was very catchy attracted numerous people, both innocent and malicious, to gather around the websites where the pictures were reportedly flashed within a small span of time.

Moreover, Alex Eckelberry, Chief Executive Officer of security company Sunbelt Software, documented a few of the results from search engines on May 10, 2009 on his blog, sunbeltblog.blogspot.com. According to him, if anyone used the keywords "rihanna nude" on Google's search engine on May 8, 2009, he would find some unusual hits with one showing a page from Microsoft's Technet, thrusting malware.

To increase people's curiosity further, cyber criminals created pages that connected to a seemingly adult movie on Rihanna. Users, who try to watch the video, receive an instruction that prompts them to download a file named Mediacodec_v3.7.exe, supposedly a special codec needed to play the video. However, security researchers have identified the file as an installer of malware.

Apart from this, another search result takes the user to a page on uvouch.com containing a similar bogus movie that (on clicking) would further take him to fonblog.net another bogus site that supposedly provides a codec, says Eckelberry.

Further, Eckelberry notes that all the high-ranking results from the abovementioned search lead to links that are similarly malicious, as reported by SOFTPEDIA on May 11, 2009.

Meanwhile, such sinister attacks are targeting not just Rihanna. A similar incident occurred with female star Malin Ackerman of the English feature film Watchmen, as well as many other celebrities like Christina Ricci, Victoria Beckham, Salma Hayek, Kirsten Dunst and Beyonce Knowles.

The security researchers also state that the use of bogus video campaigns is nothing new, so isn't the tactic of taking advantage of people's curiosity. Just as what usually happens with topics that produce considerable traffic on search engines, in the Rihanna case too, malware distributors pounced on the opportunity to ensnare potential victims.

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