By Barracuda Labs
If you're working on your Atlantic Coast Conference brackets this week, be extra careful where you click. Cybercriminals are up to their old tricks and hoping you'll make a fast break to their Web sites.
To raise the chances that you will, they've taken over popular search terms such as “ACC Tournament Schedule 2010” and “ACC Tournament Bracket” and inserted poisoned links that lead to Rogue AV sites. SEO poisoning continues to pick up steam as attackers race to re-direct your browser to a Web site serving up various malicious programs. In this case, “CleanUp Antivirus” Rogue AV seems to be the flavor of choice.
As part of this experiment, Barracuda Labs discovered that a Google search for “ACC Tournament Schedule 2010” returned 23 malicious links within the first 50 results. Unless you know how to tell the difference between the good links and the bad ones, you stand almost a 50% chance of having your computer taken over by “Scareware” that tries to separate you from as much as $90 for the fake software.
We discuss Rogue AV and SEO poisoning in more detail in our 2009 Annual Report released this week. The attacks are becoming increasingly more popular as hackers target vulnerabilities in legitimate Web sites, making it more likely for the page to be visited and the malicious content to be delivered. .
CNBC sites surveys that show almost 45% of American workers participate in March Madness pools at work. Much of this research is happening on company time, causing a significant decrease in employee productivity as loyal fans follow their favorite teams. While the boss may turn a blind eye to that activity, a malware infection sure won't help your ranking at work.
Barracuda Web Filter and Barracuda Web Security Service customers are protected from this attack.