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Searching for Hotties Leads to Hacked PCs

Five or ten years ago, it was relatively easy for scammers to trick people into opening email attachments that would launch malicious programs on victims’ PCs. Nowadays, most email providers won’t permit .exe attachments, so viruses may be saved as compressed files, or hidden behind links that appear to lead to PDFs or word documents.

Scammers have been very productive in creating spoofed or infected websites, which are designed to infect your web browser with viruses. More than three million of these websites were born in 2010 alone.

The bait that lures victims to these infected websites may be the latest Twitter trend, a breaking news story, significant world event, ringtone downloads, pornography, or celebrity pictures.

Cybercriminals often use the names of popular celebrities to tempt viewers to visit websites that are actually laden with malicious software. Anyone looking for the latest videos or pictures could end up with a malware-ridden computer instead of the trendy content they were expecting.Hot stuff model/television host/Seal’s wife Heidi Klum is this year’s “Most Dangerous Celebrity.” Heidi herself may be sweet as pie, but the allure of her looks has captured scammers’ attention, leading them to exploit her fame to draw in victims.




Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 November, 2011, 17:26Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I do my fair share of dogdy site browsing, and fortunately it seems my virus protection is working like a condom.  I am more concerned with the access we allow to mobile apps and their resulting automatic updates - who knows what these programs are scraping and achiving from our 'always-on and not protected' mobiles.  Even the security apps look pretty suspect to me. In fact, any program, mobile or PC, which you explicitly 'allow' to run because you believe it to be from a 'safe' provider - your virus detection will not detect anything wrong with that.  What's the alternative - don't install anything?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 08 November, 2011, 08:17Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

On a PC/Mac, for 'dodgy site browsing' use a virtual machine.  VMware player and Virtualbox are both free as in beer.

Create your own VM (windows/linux/BSD/whatever) or even download a ready made one.  Reset the VM at the end of every browsing session.

Using a locked down VM would also be a good idea for internet banking and shopping...