August 30, 2010

Cybercriminals Using Online Emmy Award Searches to Attack

CULVER CITY, Calif., Aug 30 /PRNewswire/ --

                         Norton is warning consumers searching for the big
                         winners, fashion faux pas and juicy backstage
                         gossip stemming from last night's Emmy Awards
                         that many common search terms have already been
                         "poisoned" by online criminals looking to steal
    WHAT/WHY:            users' personal information.

                         Cybercriminals monitor newsworthy, trending news
                         topics, then infect dozens of legitimate and
                         fake webpages with viruses, spyware, keylogging
                         programs (where criminals can monitor everything
                         you type) and other malicious software
                         ("Malware") hoping to gain access to people's
                         computers and steal their personal information.

                         Some common search terms already returning
                         malicious results include:
                         --"elisabeth moss wiki" -57 percent of the
                         first 100 results are malicious sites
                         --"ryan murphy wiki" -40 percent of the first
                         100 results are malicious sites
                         --"emmys 2010 wiki" -25 percent of the first
                         100 results are malicious sites

                         Often within hours of major pop culture events,
                         as many as 50 percent of search results can be
                         "poisoned" - meaning that it's just as likely
                         that you will click on a bad link as a good one!

                         And this doesn't just mean that you'll get hit by
                         a flood of annoying pop-ups. These crooks don't
                         want you to know they're in your computer, so
                         they can steal as much personal information
                         (contacts, passwords, banking information) as
                         possible before you catch on. Many victims won't
                         know they've been hit until it's too late!

                         Security experts are on hand to share tips with
                         users on how they can protect themselves from
    EXPERTS/TIPS:        these kinds of scams, including:
                         -- Secret dressing room spy-cams? The truth
                         about celebrities' jealous rages? Don't believe
                         everything you read - Cybercriminals use
                         sensational headlines to get you to click on
                         their poisoned links. Delete e-mails and ignore
                         search results from people and sites you don't
                         know - no matter what they're promising.
                         --Hollywood's not the only place you can't
                         always trust your friends -Don't assume links
                         and videos posted by friends on social
                         networking sites are safe. Use a free tool such
                         as Norton Safe Web for Facebook to scan your
                         wall and your friends' walls for bogus links.
                         --Take some "Glee" in telling those crooks to
                         get "Lost" -Use a safe search tool, like the
                         free Norton Safe Web Lite, which can identify
                         poisoned search results before you click on

                         Interviews with security experts available upon
    WHEN:                request

                         Screenshots of top poisoned search results are
    IMAGES:              available upon request

    CONTACT:            Gerritt Hoekman
                        Edelman for Norton
                        [email protected]