World Cup used as bait to spread rogueware

Panda Security has reported the recent appearance of a number of web pages distributing the MySecurityEngine fake antivirus. All of these pages appear in top web search results related to the 2010 South Africa Soccer World Cup.

“The FIFA World Cup is a worldwide event that, logically, hackers are taking advantage of”, says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations. Users looking for information regarding the World Cup are advised to only access reliable websites and be careful when clicking on links returned by search engines. “We expect to see attacks like this increase over the next few days.”

These techniques, called Black Hat Seo attacks, started being used by hackers a couple of years ago. Since then, they have become increasingly sophisticated, managing to place rogue websites among the top’s search results in search engine listings. The system is very simple: when users look for information about major sports events such as this, the results returned correspond to rogue Web pages professionally indexed to rank high. If the user clicks the link, they will be asked to download a file, such as a codec. If they do so, they will be inadvertently installing a fake antivirus program on their computer.

Users are advised to take all the necessary precautions when visiting Web pages through search engines. Making sure that sources are reliable and rejecting all downloads is key remaining uninfected. “The best piece of advice is to use common sense when surfing the Web. Reject requests from strangers and do not open any files that come from unfamiliar sources” says Matthews. “It’s advisable to make sure you have the proper virus protection on your computer and that it is up to date. There are free solutions like Panda Cloud Antivirus that protect computers against this type of threat.”

For more information, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.

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