Cybercriminals use popular search terms to draw victims in
Superheroes join other bait like celebrity gossip and holidays
WITH the rising popularity of superhero movies, security software specialist McAfee analysed what superhero search led to the most risky websites using McAfee SiteAdvisor site ratings.
Its study on the Most Toxic Superheroes sees the ‘Man of Steel’ topping the list, McAfee said in a statement.
Superheroes are now accessible on computers, game console devices, and mobile devices. Captain America, Thor, and Spiderman also star on the silver screen while the Green Arrow and The Flash have their own television shows.
Videos like Batkid and the Spiderman dad went viral on YouTube, McAfee said in its statement.
This is great news to comic publishers like Marvel and DC Comics. Unfortunately, it’s also good news to hackers and scammers too, the company added.
Cybercriminals know that search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing can also be used for criminal means. Therefore, they use popular search terms to draw victims in like celebrity gossip, holidays, viral hits, and now even superheroes.
McAfee’s Most Toxic Superheroes study determined that searching ‘Superman, ‘Superman and free torrent download,’ ‘Superman and watch,’ ‘Superman and free app,’ and ‘Superman and online,’ yields a 16.5% chance of landing on a website that has tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware.
This year the Most Toxic Superheroes are:
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself, according to McAfee:
Be suspicious: If a search turns up a link to free content or too-good-to-be-true offers, be wary;
Double-check the web address: Look for misspellings or other clues that the site you are going to may not be safe (for more on this, read the blog on typosquatting);
Search safely: Use a web safety advisor that displays a red, yellow, or green ratings in search results, alerting you to potential risky sites before you click on them;
Protect yourself: Use comprehensive security software on all your devices.
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