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‘Super Bowl 2010’ Search Results Lead to Poisonous Websites

Internet security researchers warn that with the '2010 Super Bowl' tournament fast approaching and ardent supporters searching for the event's latest information online, cyber criminals have begun taking advantage of the situation.

Researchers at SonicWall (a security company) emphasize that with the help of search phrases like "2010 Super Bowl," cyber criminals are posting malevolent websites near the top results on Google search pages with an aim to contaminate the surfers' PCs with malware.

Over 15% of the Top ranking twenty Google search websites associated with the 2010 Super Bowl in reality contain harmful software.

SonicWall discloses that these malicious websites pose as genuine sites, which seemingly offer news or movie files about the upcoming 2010 Super Bowl. Moreover, they are placed among the highest search results as a way to make them appear more authentic.

Nevertheless, once these malicious websites are opened, they try to convince Web-surfers to buy a bogus antivirus application, which mimics Windows security software. Thereafter, the program pretends to scan the user's computer for viruses and generates false alerts.

Explaining this phenomenon, Nick Bilogorskiy, Manager of anti-virus Research at SonicWall, stated that these websites were poisoned with malicious software, as reported by ChannelWeb during the 2nd week of February 2010.

Alongside SonicWall, another security company eSoft has reported about the same kind of poisoned search phrases. It has revealed 4 such phrases, each of them associated with Super Bowl.

The eSoft researchers state that they are sure the current campaign of poisoned websites is attributed to the Rogue anti-virus URLs. This is because these web-links show up sites that provide bogus antivirus applications that more-or-less escape detection by authentic antivirus software.

Based on the most recent news, security researchers have reached the conclusion that results from online searches are poisoned with malware and become quite common. For example, recently Web-surfers looking for details about the Haiti earthquake via search engines received numerous poisoned results.

Hence, to stay protected, users are suggested not to download unsolicited applications, however much authentic they may appear. Indeed, adopting best computing practices, when online, can help avert major troubles.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

» SPAMfighter News - 2/22/2010

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