Scareware Spreading Through Porn Switch to Social Networks
Cyber criminals use pornography as a popular medium for drawing potential victims into their scams. Consequently, phony pornographic websites are used for gathering data from unwitting Internet surfers and malware laden websites are hosted for infecting visitors' computers. Scammers who aim at exploiting users through social networking websites are also using this technique, said Internet security company Symantec in its State of Spam Report for February 2010.
The report states that nearly 92% of all phishing scams related to adult content occurred during January 2010 were executed through social networking websites. In most instances, when a victim inputs his data into the phishing website, he is diverted to scareware instead of the promised pornography.
Security researchers have stated that scareware is malware that pretends to be antivirus software. The program warns the user that his computer has contacted several virus infections; therefore he needs to download the program urgently for removing those infections.
Furthermore, scareware scams typically work on the basis of search engine manipulation of search phrases currently making the headlines like an athlete dying while practicing for the Winter Olympics. When surfers look for the footages of this mishap and follow these poisoned search results, they are redirected to fake AV websites that result in scareware scams.
The security company indicates in its study that search phrases for smut through social networking sites have been included in the Black Hat Search Engine Optimization technique. This is a good medium for promoting scareware slingers.
Notably, the scareware creators so devise these pop-ups that it becomes nearly impossible to avoid them. If an end-user opts for the cross sign (NO) on the pop-up or just leaves the website, then more security alerts and offers for file downloads appear.
Hence, security specialists recommend that the best solution for users is to close their Web browser or click to shutdown their PC wholly. During the system restart, they should operate well-known anti-malware software that will remove any other malicious program that the scareware portal may have dropped on their computers.
» SPAMfighter News - 2/24/2010
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