An Obvious Opportunity

Filed Under: SophosLabs

It's unfortunate that whenever a celebrity of any sort dies, scammers rejoice as they have new material that they can be certain will give them a boost in traffic to their sites.

Take today's hot topic for example. Well known actress Farah Fawcett passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Looking at the Google Trends data we can see that nearly a dozen of the top 100 searched terms today have involved the words "Farrah Fawcett". What this translates to in the eyes of scammers is a better opportunity to have you click one of their sites which redirects you to their own FakeAV site in an attempt to get your money.

Doing a quick Google search for the words "Farrah Fawcett Dead" turns up the following link on the first page of results.

Visiting the link with a FireFox addon such as NoScript allows us to prevent the immediate redirection to the FakeAV site, and instead we're greeted with a page that looks like this.

Anyone who tries making sense of the text will quickly realize that it's a list of random dictionary words strung together to make it seem like it's a real site. Of course, they never actually intend for you to see the page since there's some script code that redirects you to the common FakeAV page seen all over the web. If you weren't running an addon such as NoScript, you'd see the following page.

It's important to keep in mind that whenever a hot news topic pops up, there are people out there trying to take advantage of the situation. Stick to known news sites you are familiar with and be sure to keep your anti-virus software up to date.

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