The third installment of the “Twilight” franchise, “Eclipse,” which premiered this week, is breaking records for a midnight opening and fans are searching in the masses for any details about the film they can find online. Cyber criminals know this and have already “poisoned” common search results hoping to gain access to people’s computers and infect them with malware.
Symantec is saying that common search results are currently showing malicious results at a rate of more than 50 percent. In this situation, when users click on the link to the malicious site and reach the infected Web page, they are prompted to accept the download of a file, such as a codec to watch a video, and the fake antivirus will be installed on the computers. Those links can put viruses, keylogging programs (where criminals can monitor everything you type), harmful on your computer.
A similar tactic was used by cyber criminals surrounding the final episode of the popular ABC series “Lost.” PandaLabs, the research division of Panda Security, also discovered that in addition to “Lost,” similar techniques to lure potential victims have been detected with other popular shows and searches including “Glee,” “The Family Guy” and the recently released film, “Iron Man 2.”
Top search terms for “Eclipse” that are likely to be dangerous include:
• “Twilight New Moon Eclipse Wikipedia” (53 percent malicious)
• “Twilight Eclipse Wiki” (39 percent malicious)
• “How Long Is Eclipse The Movie going to be” (28 percent malicious)
Symantec’s Norton has seen a spike in these poisoned search results over the last 24 hours, and experts expect even more “Twilight”-related poison search results, scams and spam as the movie gains momentum.
Norton offers the following tips for those Twilight obsessed fans looking for information online:
• Nude pictures of Rob Pattinson sound too good to be true? They are! – Cybercriminals use sensational headlines to get you to click on their poisoned links. Better to delete e-mails and ignore search results from people and sites you don’t know – no matter what they’re promising.
• Don’t let attacks take you by surprise – Use a reputable online security software to let you know when you’re about to click on a link that’s poisoned.
• Browsing social networking sites while standing in line? – Don’t assume links and videos posted by friends on social networking sites are safe