Hackers use celebrity image SEO to spread scareware

Graham Cluley

Scareware, the fake anti-virus programs which try and frighten you into reaching deep into your wallet, have been one of the biggest security stories of the last twelve months.

By displaying bogus security warnings their intention is to panic you into purchasing a product you don’t need, or install a malicious program you don’t want.

Late last week, Paul Baccas (aka ‘pob’) of SophosLabs found out that scareware scammers were using search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques in combination with photographs of celebrities like Warren Beatty and Shania Twain in their attempts to steal money.

Below you’ll find a video made by Paul demonstrating the problem in regards to “Beaches” actress Barbara Hershey, and make sure to also read the additional information he has posted on the SophosLabs blog…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.