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Cyber-criminals use search engines to trap victims

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jmatthews1.jpgAccording to a press release issued by Global IT security vendor Panda Security, cyber-criminals are manipulating search engine results to distribute fake antivirus products.

Internet users are advised to be careful when accessing web sites of unknown companies or vendors purporting to sell antivirus software and services.

Says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations: “The reasons for this is simple – the criminals need to attract users to malicious sites in order to infect them,” and continues “What’s new, however, is the inventive ways they are drawing users to these Web pages.”

In the past, criminals would use mass spam e-mailing to attract unsuspecting victims to these malware sites. Now, largely due to a greater consumer awareness of e-mail scams, the perpetrators have started using search engines instead.

They do this by researching the most searched topics on any given day, and then create pages or blogs filled with similar keywords. Once a person visits the site, pop-ups prompt them to install a plug-in or executable file, which contains the virus. Once the malware is installed, users are prompted to buy antivirus software to remove the threat.

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