The car accident involving golfer Tiger Woods has led to Google trends being dominated by the event.
Hon Lau, senior security response manager at Symantec, claimed that from an IT security point of view, this is just another fruit ripe for the picking as far as malware writers are concerned.
“So it comes as no surprise that the creators of rogue anti-virus 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,” said Lau.
Symantec reported that search engine results are redirecting to malicious domains that go through the usual fake scanning activity, before pointing out a whole host of serious errors and threats that needs to be cleaned from your computer. Files on offer on this occasion may be setup_build6_195.exe (Download.MisleadApp) or install [RANDOM NUMBER].exe (Detected as Downloader or Trojan.FakeAV).
Sophos also discovered that by early Saturday morning, hackers had created web pages which claimed to contain video footage related to the incident, but that were really designed to spread dangerous malware.
It claimed that by using content related to the top golfer's mysterious car accident and his alleged relationship with New York party girl Rachel Uchitel, the cybercriminals have made their attack timely and ensured that it will feature high up in search engine results, increasing the chances of unsuspecting victims visiting the site.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: “The Tiger Woods story has been one of the top news stories around the world this weekend, and search engine statistics show that many people have been hunting for developments via the web. Hackers don't waste any time jumping on the coat-tails of a hot news story like this, in their attempt to infect as many computer users as possible.
“Foolhardy internet users who believe they are about to watch video footage related to Tiger Woods' current troubles may find the website is trying to surreptitiously install a Trojan horse onto their computer, handing control over to cybercriminals.
“This is a threat both for home users and companies. Many people may return from the weekend and use their office PCs to find out the latest news this morning - only to have their computers silently infected.”