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Royal Engagement News Exploited by Scareware Pushers


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Search results related to today's official announcement that Prince William of Wales and his longstanding girlfriend Kate Middleton became engaged, have been poisoned with malicious links leading to scareware.

Prince William, who is second in the line of succession to the British Throne, started dating his new fiancée back in 2001. They are set to marry in the spring or summer of next year.

The search phrase "prince william engagement" is currently the number one one Google's hot searches list for USA, while keyword combinations like "kate middleton engagement ring" or "prince william kate middleton" are also in the top.

As usual, cyber criminals are on the lookout for new opportunities to make some money and one of their preferred methods is black hat search engine optimization (BHSEO).

BHSEO involves artificially raising the PageRank of rogue websites in order to push them at the top of search results related to events that attract a lot of public interest.

The Tech Herald reports that BHSEO campaigns targeting people who search for information about the royal engagement have already started.

The malicious links redirect users to websites that push fake antivirus software, also known as scareware or rogueware.

It also seems these attacks target separate browsers in different ways. For example, Internet Explorer users will land on fake antivirus scan or fake codec sites.

Meanwhile, Firefox users will see a fake "What's New" page, which is usually displayed after a browser update, alerting them of a new Flash Player version.

The purpose of scareware applications is to convince people to buy unnecessary licenses by displaying fake security alerts about fictitious infections allegedly found on their computers.

Users are advised to browse the Web with a capable antivirus program installed and immediately close down any pages offering executable files they didn't ask for.

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