SOURCE: F-Secure

F-Secure,Internet Security,Anti-Virus, Antispyware,Firewall, Parental Controls

November 23, 2009 09:00 ET

F-Secure Releases Its 2009 Holiday Cyber-Watch List for Cyber Monday

Internet Security Experts Reveal the Products Most Likely to Be Targeted by Search Engine Scammers This Holiday Season

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - November 23, 2009) - The Internet security experts at F-Secure today revealed a list of products most likely to be used by search engine scammers to prey on unsuspecting holiday shoppers. The list compiles projected holiday 2009 gift favorites, including iPods and merchandise related to Michael Jackson's blockbuster "This Is It" film. The hottest gifts will be the most searched for online, and thus become prime targets for cybercriminals.

Search engine scams, i.e. nefarious links that masquerade as normal search results, are particularly dangerous this holiday season as online shopping is predicted to be relatively strong compared to traditional retail. This, coupled with the fact that more and more grandparents, typically a less tech-savvy demographic, are shopping online could result in a search engine scam blitzkrieg around this holiday season's most popular gifts.

The products most likely to be targeted by cybercriminals include:

--  The popular video game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2"
--  Merchandise related to the Michael Jackson film "This Is It"
--  The Flip UltraHD Camcorder
--  Apple's iPod
--  Nintendo's Wii
--  Playskool's Chuck My Talking Truck
    

How the search engine scams work

F-Secure's global security labs team, which monitors and analyzes the changing security threat landscape, has seen a significant rise in search engine scams in 2009. With search engine scams, cybercriminals leverage public interest in major breaking news items to create bogus news-related links (e.g. articles, websites, videos) that can be used to obtain sensitive data -- mainly financial information -- from Internet surfers upon click-through. These efforts are typically bolstered by an Ad Words campaign that improves the Google rankings of bad links, resulting in more click-throughs and a higher rate of crime.

How to protect yourself while online shopping

"Though they are not new, search engine scams have become a highly lucrative tactic for cybercriminals. We've seen the bad guys bank on almost every major news event this year, so we anticipate that they will exploit the most popular gifts people will be looking to buy over the holidays," said Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer, F-Secure. "We strongly urge people to only shop on trusted ecommerce websites, using their individual site search engines. If that's not a possibility, perform a 'safe link' check on unknown URLs with technology like F-Secure's Browsing Protection."

Internet users can surf safely by checking unknown URLs at http://browsingprotection.f-secure.com. F-Secure's Browsing Protection quickly and easily lets users know whether or not a link is malicious. People can also protect their computers year round with F-Secure's Internet Security 2010, which offers comprehensive security for the home PC user. As part of a special, limited-time offer, F-Secure Internet Security 2010 is available for purchase with F-Secure Online Backup for a total of $59.99 -- a savings of $49.99 off the list price. Please visit http://campaigns.f-secure.com/usbundle/ to purchase.

F-Secure's list of the 'most dangerous gifts' was compiled based on Amazon's Most Gifted items, cross-checked against a Google Trends analysis of the most searched for product names during past holiday seasons. Please find the full list of the 'most dangerous gifts of 2009' at http://www.f-secure.com/en_US/security/security-center/security-stories/holiday-cyber-watch-list-2009.html.

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Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact
    Media contact
    Nadja Blagojevic
    LEWIS PR for F-Secure
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