Hackers feast on Tiger Woods' car crash

Antivirus firm Symantec reported that the alleged reasons behind Woods' accident has generated a swell in web traffic and searches

Adultery, domestic violence, a crumbling marriage, and other rumors circulating the reported car accident of golf icon Tiger Woods turned out to be a feast time for hackers, poisoning web search engines left and right.

Antivirus firm Symantec reported that the alleged reasons behind Woods' accident has generated a swell in web traffic and searches, topping Google searches since the news broke.

"From an IT security point of view, this unfortunate incident is just another fruit ripe for the picking as far as malware writers are concerned," Hon Lau, a Symantec blogger, said.

Lau made the comment after Symantec observed some search engine results redirecting users to a number of malicious websites, which then take users through a fake scanning activity before pointing out a host of serious "errors" and "threats" advising that these must be immediately cleaned from the user's computer.

However, the threats are bogus, Symantec said. And users are unwittingly misled into buying illegitimate antivirus software which could then take personal details for criminal gain.

"It comes as no surprise that the creators of rogue antivirus or misleading application software have already jumped on the bandwagon and attempted to poison web search engine results to take advantage of this spike in web search activity," Lau said.

Lau added Symantec gave advices to users in protecting themselves against the misleadings of malware writers.

"When searching for information on the web, make sure your legitimate antivirus software is updated and if you ever feel yourself being strong-armed into buying antivirus software from any dubious online sources, do not do it. Instead go to a trusted source such as your local physical shop," Lau said.

Among some of the malicious domains include: "vir-curemypc-now.com, egafuki.cn, and online-scanner-free.net."

Woods, according to reports, crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree at around 2:30 a.m. last Friday, obtaining body and facial injuries in the process. Yet some showbiz gossips say Woods was hit by a golf club as a result of domestic argument with his wife Elin.

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Tom S. Noda

Computerworld
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