Searches for Serena Williams outburst lead to malicious sites, while warnings made of similar results for Kanye West

News by Dan Raywood

Tennis fans have been warned to be wary of looking for footage of Serena Williams' outburst at a line judge at the US Open.

Tennis fans have been warned to be wary of looking for footage of Serena Williams' outburst at a line judge at the US Open.

The 2009 Wimbledon women's champion was given a code violation for smashing her racquet at the end of the first set and was called on a foot fault, prompting her to react angrily towards the line judge.

However Symantec warned that the video is currently one of the internet's most hotly searched items and curious surfers should take care of where they watch it for fear of scoring their own double fault.

It claimed that an internet user searching for terms such as ‘Serena Williams Outburst' could end up at a domain called pixnat.com, which Symantec has discovered is hosting fake anti-virus scanners.

Hon Lau, senior security response manager at Symantec, said: “Unwary visitors to this site will instantly see browser windows pop-up warning them of various security threats, before being offered the chance to download a program that will fix them. They should refuse this, as this is fake anti-virus software that could harm their computers.

“This attack, otherwise known as ‘SEO poisoning' is exactly the kind of thing that opportunistic criminals do to take advantage of people's natural curiosity. It is a small attack at the moment, but serves to show how dangerous misleading applications can be.”

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: “Perhaps understandably, people who missed the match on television may have turned to the internet to hunt for the fruity footage. However, be careful what you click on, as some sites claiming to contain video evidence of Serena Williams losing her cool may carry malicious code.”

Cluley also warned of poisoned searches of a video from the MTV Video Music Awards, where rapper Kanye West leapt on stage to praise a Beyonce Knowles video instead when Taylor Swift was giving her acceptance speech.

“We haven't seen any malicious activity around the Kanye West-Taylor Swift-Beyonce Knowles triangle yet, but we wouldn't be surprised if there was some lurking out there,” said Cluley.

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