Hackers Spreading Viruses Via Hot Search Terms
Not directly. But they use them to their advantage.
In order to spread computer viruses and spyware, hackers generally need you to cooperate at least in part by visiting a shady site or downloading the material unwittingly - or under the guise of downloading something else entirely.
Here's where the hot search terms come in.
This weekend, a video of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews in her hotel room and in various stages of undress was leaked online. In the past few days, many seekers of the Erin Andrews hotel video online have found viruses instead.
This, Ft. Lauderdale computer repair experts say, is because malicious people have set up bogus web sites and downloads to infect computers, knowing people are looking for a piece of video and/or photos that may or may not even exist.
Or at the very least, that they do no know the origins of or legitimacy of. The mystery of the situation also lures victims rather easily.
Some are calling this a lesson in karma. We're just calling it something you should watch out for no matter what you search for - especially if it's from a source you can't verify. Whatever you're looking for just is not worth the consequences.
Basically, whether you are looking online for a video of a celebrity or something for less salacious, there are people out to get you. It's sad but true.
Any hot, late-breaking trend lends itself to this scenario. Hackers know how to get their links found via search engine optimization and how to infect your PC.
Don't let yourself become a statistic. Update your anti-virus software and be sure you do not visit any websites - and especially download anything - you cannot verify the reliability and safety of. The risk-reward analysis does not add up.