With the current news about the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, it’s a good idea to remind our readers to beware of blackhat attempts to distribute malware to anyone looking for news.
Every time a disaster happens or news about some celebrity reaches the media, malware writers try to take advantage of it. The most common attack vector is email. Watch out for spam offering links to “news” or “pictures” of deceased celebrities. Most of the time, they will take you to websites offering advertisements for pharmacy products such as Viagra and Cialis or, even worse, will try to install malware on your machine!
But another way to attract visitors looking for news is a technique known as search engine optimization (SEO for short, see more here). Blackhats use SEO to inflate search engine results in an attempt to put their results on top of the list and drive more users to fake websites offering “more information” about the current trendy news. When the users click on the fake links, they are susceptible to any kind of attack, spyware or malware installation, or information theft.
A good way to protect against this kind of attack is to use our SiteAdvisor tool, which can be downloaded for free at this site: http://www.siteadvisor.com/. It will help you identify potentially malicious links on your search results.
And again, repeat with me: No, that email will NOT show you pictures of Michael Jackson’s body; it will just install malware on your machine.