It is that time of the year once again for football enthusiasts and sports fanatics alike with the latest season of “Super Bowl.” The “Super Bowl” is one of the U.S. television broadcasting industry’s top-rating shows, drawing thousands of live viewers each game. This year, according to Nielsen, 106.5 million viewers reportedly watched the games, some 24 percent of whom, according to Mashable, watched online.
This is probably why cybercriminals take advantage of the show’s popularity, trying to lure unsuspecting fans via blackhat search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. This is, of course, no longer new, it has happened before but that did not stop cybercriminals from using the same tactics again to push a FAKEAV to online viewers.
Trend Micro threat analysts found that searching for “Super Bowl 44 airtime” in Google led to results that redirected users to malicious sites that claim to contain the information they are looking for.
Upon clicking the link, a prompt alerts users of supposed malware infections, an all-too-familiar tactic rogue antivirus peddlers use to sell their malicious wares.
Also, apart from exploiting an attention-grabbing sports event, cybercriminals have taken advantage of another actor’s supposed death—that of comedian, Bill Cosby—to propagate the exact same FAKEAV variant detected by Trend Micro as TROJ_FAKEAL.SMDP.
As in previously featured blackhat SEO attacks, users face the same risks yet again, including credit card theft:
- FAKEAV Gets First Dibs in Profits from Apple iPad
- Hackers Exploit Actor Johnny Depp’s Death Hoax
- News on Brittany Murphy’s Death Lead to FAKEAV
Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ protects product users from these threats by blocking user access to malicious sites and detecting and preventing the download of harmful binary files such as packupdate_build7_195.exe aka TROJ_FAKEAL.SMDP.
Non-Trend Micro product users, on the other hand, can also stay protected by using free tools such as Web Protection Add-On.