Growing interest about the Twilight vampire series is making life risky for fans seeking information online, experts have warned.
Security firm PC Tools documented a growing number of attacks and scams related to the popular book and movie series. The company expects such attacks to increase with the release of the New Moon sequel.
PC Tools said that many of the attacks follow familiar patterns, such as fake video sites. Scammers have loaded comment and forum pages with spam messages linking users to sites which claim to offer exclusive videos of New Moon.
Rather than watching a bootleg of the movie, however, users are subjected to the classic 'fake codec' attack in which the user is duped into installing a Trojan application disguised as a video player or plug-in.
IT administrators are advised to block codec downloads on corporate systems.
PC Tools also noted a series of attacks targeting web searches for the stars of the film, along with a number of sites which have been specially crafted to appear as results for search queries on Twilight author Stephenie Meyer.
Promising text from an interview, the pages instead launch a fake anti-virus scam. The pages display phoney malware warnings and attempt to sell users non-existent anti-virus tools.
Such attacks have become common in recent years. Fraudsters have increasingly relied on bogus web pages based on major news and cultural events to trick users into downloading malware.
Search engine optimisation techniques have also become popular with malware writers. The scam involves loading attack sites with popular names and highly-searched terms to raise their profile in search engine results.
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