The British Royal wedding and the upcoming ice hockey world championship in Slovakia have caught the attention of cybercriminals. Prince William who is to wed Kate Middleton has computer scammers at the ready to profit from the media circus surrounding this year’s high profile event. Meanwhile, in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, hockey-related internet domains bearing traits of unfair business practices have sprung up. Yet again, there are people out there trying to take advantage of the media attention around a trending topic. This time, they are targeting web-surfers seeking out news about the royal wedding to be held this Friday. The ploys include setting up fake websites rigged to score high in web searches due to the high frequency of the key words used. When a user lands on such a page, he or she may unwittingly download malicious code like a rogue antivirus program. ESET security software uncovers all such malicious attempts, this partical variant is detected as Win32/Adware.XPAntiSpyware.AB. "When web-searching based on keywords related to the British Royal wedding, top query spots are taken up, among others, by malicious websites. By clicking the URL link, the user triggers pop-up windows containing a warning about a computer infiltration. Subsequently, the user is prompted to download rogue security software," adds ESET malware analyst Róbert Lipovský. Generally, malware-laden sites appear when typing in specific keywords, such as “Middleton wedding dress idea, and other similar ones.” With the wedding date fast approaching, we are seeing a spike in computer infiltrations in Britain and all around the world.
Share of Win32/Adware.XPAntiSpyware.AB infections globally
ESET continually informs about these underhanded tactics, so-called BlackHat SEO that exploit current events to trick users and make them part with money. As an effective defense, ESET advises to stick to four simple rules when surfing the web or using social networks:
- Refrain from clicking on links containing references like "shocking news" or videos.
- Remember, sites with low credibility are not a good place to get your news scoop. Do not click on websites that have dubious reputation.
- Do not send any money to charities or foundations you have never heard about.
- When you start receiving messages that your computer is infected after clicking a site, do not take this at face value – you could be dealing with a fake antivirus.
Rogue antivirus exploiting the British Royal wedding; a blocked “hockey scam” websiteDanger of a different kind is presented by paid websites. They are built to scam unsuspecting web surfers. Websites that have sprung up in Slovakia have been in the headlines for several months now in the region of Central Europe. Hosted by a company that was previously charged with unfair business practices has shifted its focus to the world ice hockey championship. The info on charges is buried deeply away in the site’s general conditions. Thus by clicking the site, the unsuspecting user agrees to pay a 50 EUR fee for a year’s access. These malicious sites like www.ms2011.cz, www.ms-2011.cz/ in the Czech Republic or www.sampionat.sk in Slovakia among others are detected and blocked by ESET Smart Security.