Video of Serena Williams' outburst could go viral—literally
Hackers try to use the latest in news and sports to deliver malware to your PC
- By William Jackson
- Sep 15, 2009
The people who create vehicles for the surreptitious delivery of malware are nothing if not timely, as they demonstrated over the weekend by exploiting interest in tennis star Serena Williams.
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Malware goes viral via search engines
Hours after Williams lost a U.S. Open semifinal match due to a foot-in-mouth fault, Web searches for video clips of Williams allegedly threatening a line judge instead led to sites with malicious code. One site identified by Symantec was pixnat.com, an apparently legitimate site that hosts a rogue antivirus tool that alerts the user that a scan has detected threats on the computer and offers the opportunity to download an application to fix the problem. Needless the say, the “fix” is the problem.
When Symantec discovered it, the malicious file being delivered was corrupted and did not run. But you can’t always count on incompetent hackers to protect your computer.
“This incident serves to highlight you have to be careful what you search for,” Symantec warned. “If you want the news, its best to stick with the official source: the U.S. Open (http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/articles/2009-09-13/200909131252817986265.html).
William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.