200-plus websites using Justin Bieber as bait to distribute malware

According to Panda Security, popular topics recently used include the last episode of Lost and the release of Iron Man 2.

This latest attack modus operandi seems to centre on 200 spoof web addresses using the name of Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber as bait to lure users.

By including the name of this popular singer in malicious links, cyber-criminals are distributing the fake anti-virus MySecurityEngine, says Panda, adding that this technique has been used many times before, taking advantage of popular topics such as the latest movies.

References to Bieber on the search engines are quite eye opening, Infosecurity notes, and include 'justin bieber takes estrogen pills' and 'justin bieber arrested'.

As you might imagine, however, the headlines are there to lure hapless internet users into clicking on the relevant link.

There is nothing new about the way this infection operates, says Panda Security, as when somebody runs a search for this singer on the internet, these fake websites have been indexed to appear among the first results displayed.

If users click these links, however, Panda says they will be prompted to accept the download of a file, such as a codec, and the fake anti-virus will be installed on their computers.

Luis Corrons, PandaLabs' technical director, said that these types of activities have become increasingly common.

"And any popular topic or issue is used by cyber-crooks to spread their creations. By positioning websites used to distribute malware among the first results in search engines, they can be sure that numerous internet users will inadvertently download the fake anti-virus", he explained.

As a result of its findings, Corrons advises users to take precautions when searching for information on the internet, make sure they have reliable anti-virus software installed and use safe browsing tools.

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