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Updated Supposed hidden camera footage of US sports reporter Erin Andrews on offer online often leads to malware, security firm Sophos warns.

Websites claiming to provide nude video of glamorous ESPN reporter Erin Andrews are in reality a trick designed to trick both Windows and Mac surfers into installing malware. Hackers are taking advantage of hype around supposedly covert footage of the glamorous reporter to distribute Trojan horse malware.

Malicious code ultimately designed to fleece Windows users by tricking them into buying rogue security software of little or no utility is hosted on sites that can pose as affiliates of reputable news outlets, such as CNN. In reality the sites are complete fakes, but smut-seeking surfers might still find their way onto them anyway because of the use of black hat search engine optimisation techniques.

Surfers who visit the malicious sites are exposed to either the Jahlav-C Trojan horse on Macs, or the FakeAV-AY Trojan for Windows. In both cases, muck-fixated punters are tricked into downloading malware that poses as a video player supposedly needed to view footage of Andrews in her birthday suit. Code running on the hacker-controlled websites determines which strain of malware is offered up to visitors.

Sophos has posted a educational video on YouTube Vimeo (below) explaining the attack. It reports that following through on the trick will allow punters to see video of an unidentified, undressed woman, possibly in an attempt to take attention away from the malware infection happening in the background.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, lawyers acting for Andrews are taking legal action against anyone distributing copies of the illicitly-obtained footage online. The footage was obtained without either the knowledge or consent of the high-profile reporter. ®

Update

YouTube has pulled Sophos's video explanation of the threat, possibly in the false belief it might be malign or out of prudishness, after deciding it was “inappropriate content”. The run-down can still be found on vimeo here.

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