Feeds

No-good scareware varmints exploit Wild West game

Hang 'em high

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Varmints are exploiting interest in a treasure hunt tied to popular Wild West-themed game Red Dead Redemption to lay scareware traps.

One aspect of the game is a treasure hunt, which features cryptic clues and drawings linked to landmarks in the gameworld where hidden virtual bars of gold might be found. Surfers looking to search for these treasure maps online would be advised to proceed with caution.

Miscreants have manipulated search engine results so that many sites that feature prominently in searches for likely terms link to scareware portals. Surfers who visit these sites via Google will be falsely warned that their PCs are crawling with malware in a bid to scare them into buying fake anti-virus software of no utility, as explained in a blog post by Chris Boyd (AKA Paperghost) of Sunbelt Software.

Scareware attacks are increasingly commonplace but are most often themed around breaking news events (eg celebrity deaths, natural disasters etc). Tapping into the buzz created by a popular video game therefore represents something of a shift in tactics by cybercrooks.

"We haven’t seen other aspects of the game targeted by this Blackhat SEO campaign yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen," Boyd writes. "Be on your guard and keep your six shooters ready."

The scam targets PC and console gamers because it relies on internet searches for tips and cheats. A full write-up of the attack, including screenshots of the rogue app and poisoned search results, can be found in a blog post by Boyd here. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.