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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Beware Free Dowloads...Virus, worms and worse await!


'The Hunger Games' used as bait by hackers

Hunger GamesFrom the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here).

The "Hunger Games" heroine Katniss is apparently catnip for hackers.

Cyber criminals have been dangling the lure of of free online copies of the blockbuster film to trick young fans into downloading malicious software onto their computers.

In the two weeks preceding the movie's March 23 premiere, experts identified some 37 instances of offers for illegal movie downloads that were "poisoned."

"It's not actually the 'Hunger Games' footage, it pretends to be that," said Marian Merritt,
internet safety advocate for Norton, industry giant Symantec's brand of anti-virus software. "It's posted merely for the purpose of tricking fans."

Merritt said cyber criminals often use big cultural events -- such as the royal wedding or the release of the "Twilight" movies -- to dupe the unwitting into downloading a bit of malicious software onto their computers.

Such programs allow hackers to gain access to the information stored on that computer, infect other computers on the home network and beyond, Merritt said, or use the computer as a "bot" (short for robot) to launch a variety of attacks, such as sending out spam or being part of a coordinated "denial-of-service” attack.

"The 'Hunger Games' in part is of appeal to the youngest kids," Merritt said. "We find that kids are particularly vulnerable to this kind of threat, the poisoned search result threat."

Merritt urges parents to talk to their kids about steering clear of such online promises of sensational content, such as leaked videos. Norton and other companies, of course, make software that's designed to prevent this problem.

A free version of Norton Safe Web Lite can be found here.

RELATED:

'Hunger Games' ads coyly don't show the Hunger Games
Studios gorge on young-adult fiction amid success of 'Hunger Games'
'Hunger Games' sets a mark for a non-sequel with an estimated $155-million start
-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from "The Hunger Games." Credit:  Murray Close / Lionsgate

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Poor tweens. Like they don't have enough adversity in their lives as it is. The movie was entirely mediocre anyway. I guess that coupled with a virus could be too much to bear.

John Williams
COM 101 Sec 4049

Anonymous said...

I havent seen this movie and might not, but the virus sucks! Im so over computer viruses. Hopefully the tweens dont get bombarded with them thinking that its something cool about the movie.

Joseph Contreras HN 4049 COM 101

Anonymous said...

down loading illegal movies cheats the whole system out of money there are a lot of families dependent on the monies that the movie industry brings in, it is better to educate people about that than to lace viruses or malicious software, the fact hackers as the media calls them are targeting kids is shame full but then again I guess they will do anything to gain control of the computers they need to launch dos attacks for what ever purpose they have in mind, kids shouldn't be allowed to use the internet unsupervised anyway..

Jason Walden com101-4044