Prince William's Engagement Sparks Royal Scam
Pictures of the royal couple lead to malicious pages.
The engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton has already attracted web scammers looking to capitalize on the worldwide interest in the royal couple.
Dozens of malicious web pages have arisen since yesterday's (Nov. 16) announcement that the longtime pair is now engaged, reported the security firm Sophos. Entering their names in a web search also reveals several pictures. When clicked on, the photos of the famous couple many of which appear on the first page of results -- direct traffic to fraudulent sites.
The rogue pages are set up to trick users into believing they need to download antivirus software. If users are lured by the scam, they will end up downloading malicious software that worms its way into the system and grants access to the hacker.
The security blog Websense also reported the scam, and noted that those behind malicious computer schemes have the process down to a science," even adding pictures in Google's Instant Previews feature that look legitimate and add a layer of supposed safety to the search results.
In fact, Websense's 2010 Threat Report shows that 22.4 percent of all searches for current news end up directing traffic to malicious web pages. Security experts urge users to seek out reputable websites when searching for news, especially popular topics with mass appeal.