Malware Pushers Target Those Searching for Kristen Stewart/Rupert Sanders Cheating Scandal

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It’s a mark of honor (honor, right, not shame?) that when a news story gets big or trends high enough, it becomes a fertile internet jungle where predatory spammers and data thieves hunt the unwary clicker. History has shown us that there are few things more juicy than a good sex scandal, and the reveal of actress Kristen Stewart and director Rupert Sanders‘ affair has become the latest place for spammers to hide malicious code in tweets, status updates, and webpages with tantalizing titles that are googlebombed to the top of search results.

In fact, according to the Norton security firm, common searches related to Snow What and the Huntsman and its cast have been returning more than 50% not simply false, but malicious results.

The waves of revealed information on the Stewart/Sanders scandal hit fans of both Twilight and Kristen Stewart with several stages of emotion from disbelief to denial. And nothing pushes search traffic faster than a situation where some of the facts seem spurious, and lots of people are all trying to figure out what the “real” story is, with, of course, any accompanying confirmation bias they might hold.

Said Michael Gregg, COO of Superior Solutions, told Fox News:

Spammers and malware creators are always looking for some current trends to lure people using search engines. Both ‘Twilight’ and ‘Snow White’ are popular targets. These techniques run the gamut from keyword stuffing targeted back links with terms such as ‘Kristen Stewart Was Taped.’ Regardless of the technique used, the end effect is to push the malicious site up to the first or second page of the search engine.

And with the rise of tiny urls and link shorteners that came with microblogging, hovering over a link in order to see its target URL is no longer always an easy option. Hopefully every one of our readers knows not to click on the link that got tweeted at you with no explanatory text by a user you don’t recognize, whose only other tweets are tweeting links without text at other users you don’t recognize, and would exercise the same kind of caution with Facebook as well. Browse safely, everybody. Leave the rumor mongering to the professionals.

(via Fox News.)

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Susana Polo
Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.