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Celebrity news attracts cybercrooks

The world was stunned at the news of the deaths of entertainers Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett yesterday, following on the heels of Ed McMahon earlier in the week. Malware writers and spammers take advantage of big news stories such as these to distribute malicious downloads of spyware, adware and potential viruses.

One of the newer trends is that of redirecting valid links in search results. Cybercrooks have been using this technique recently for installing rogue antivirus software. In the case of celebrity news, you will most likely be taken to a site that offers links to more news or photos. Once you click on the link, your PC is susceptible to attack. Use WOT to check the rating if you are in doubt.

Twitter users should be aware that shortened URLs can also be linked to malware. Be on the safe side and check the link before you open it with a service like Shuurl. Shuurl uses WOT to check the reputation rating first so you can be confident before you click.

Finally, be on the alert for emails which have links to pictures or videos, because they may very well link to phishing sites which try to steal you personal data or attempt to install malware.

For current WOT users who are aware of these types of scams, please educate your friends and family. Fraudsters use social engineering to fool innocent people and expensive damage is done. WOT is an essential tool that offers frontline protection against these crooks and together we can make the Internet safer for everyone.

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