Friday, October 15, 2010

WARNING: Halloween searches can lead to malware; tips on avoiding

CyberDefender, a Los Angeles-based security company, just announced that parents searching online for Halloween decorating ideas are at a high risk of malware.

CyberDefender found the malware when using the search term “Halloween decoration ideas” on Google.

Clicking on infected links can redirect users to fake scan pages (Rogues or Fake AV in security lingo) and fake video codecs that can even affect Macs, all leading to annoying and potential disastrous consequences. The user’s internet experience can also be affected by hijacking search pages and redirecting to payment pages.

Tips from CyberDefender on safe searching:

Make sure you have a security software suite installed in your computer (like CyberDefender’s Early Detection Center, for example)

Check that your software subscription is active and that all updates have been installed

Go to the website you are interested in directly (putting the link into the address bar) instead of clicking on links found through Google. This will save you from being re-directed to an infected site

Be extra careful when searching for any hot topics such as holiday or celebrities. They’re prime targets for malware authors. Look for pages hosted by a site you know (like AOL, MSN and Yahoo!)

No comments: