Fake News Links Puts Users at Risk for Virus & Spam Attacks
Following the news of Osama bin Laden’s death, Security Week reports that cybercriminals are already using the popular search term to “poison common search results hoping to gain access to people’s computers and infect them with malware.”
Cybercriminals are operating with the hope that users will click on links to malicious sites containing false links and videos that will install malware when clicked. Sometimes such links will be more obvious than others. Spammers are quite creative in their attempts and recently fooled me by generating a Facebook event that was sent through a trusted friend’s account.
Besides being wary of potential malware that could come from bad links, here are some suggestions of ways to ward of most recent attacks:
- Be wary of any content that contains links to photos, videos, and information that come through email, Twitter, and Facebook. The best sources of news are major news networks like NPR, CNN, and national NBC, ABC, and CBS channels.
- Understand the different kinds of malware and what can happen when you click on bad links. Trojan Horses, viruses, worms, and spyware have distinct ways of operating. Know how they operate and what kinds of information they are hoping to get so you won’t give away too many details about yourself.
- Install anti-malware solutions designed to protect PCs from malware attacks typically found on social networking sites and other websites. Many free versions, such as ChicaPC-Shield, can detect malware, isolate the threat and purge it from PCs in a matter of minutes.
- Worried about your Facebook page? Companies like BitDefender make apps for your Facebook page that can scan your personal page for links that jeopardize personal information shared by you and your friends.
According to security experts, new malware is sent into cyberspace every 15 seconds but is done more frequently following major news events where users tend to crave information about current events. The article also cites a similar phenomenon after the Japan earthquake.