Twilight Fever Brings Cybercriminals Out to Bite Us
For someone who really didn’t enjoy the two “Twilight” books she read, I seem to spend a lot of time talking about them. First, we saw results in our study of what kids search for on the Internet showing kids were fascinated with the books, the actors from the films and even the filming locations of the Pacific Northwest. I learned terms like “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob”. Now that the third installment of the bloodthirsty films has been released, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the furor to try to trick internet searchers into clicking on dangerous, malware infected websites.Some common search results are already returning more than 50% malicious results. Examples of searches to avoid right now: "Twilight New Moon Eclipse Wikipedia"; "Twilight Eclipse Wiki"; "How Long is Eclipse The Movie Going to Be".
We call it “poisoned” search results. What the bad guys do is fill their malware hosting pages with terms related to whatever we are all looking for online. You can visit Google’s own trend page which tracks the hottest or newest search terms in use around the world or country by country. If your inclinations are malicious, you can use that information to make your online sandtraps as popular as possible. So imagine you are a naïve and excited teen hoping to find new photos or gossip about “Twilight Eclipse”. How tragic if a simple click on a search result takes you to a website that downloads keystroke loggers, viruses, worms and other problems onto your computer. Or if you are a parent, imagine your own child making this innocent mistake.
You can take steps to stay safe(r). If you are using a Norton Internet Security product like Norton 360 or Norton Internet Security, you can integrate your search results with our program’s Site Safety. Even if you don’t have our software (and of course, I hope you’ll consider switching), you can use the (in beta) free Tool Bar that includes this feature. From then on, your search result page will have color coding to help guide you to safe sites and away from malware hosting sites. Red means stop, Green means go. It’s so simple you’ll have no trouble showing your kids what to do. And since it’s often the kids who inadvertently get the malware on our computers, clicking their way past alerts, alarms and other safety measures, they are the ones we’ve got to keep safe from bloodthirsty vampires of the “Cullen” family or the ones in the cybercriminal family.