Internet users who are looking for information about the recently announced engagement and upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton are in for a royal surprise: According to Sophos, searching for the couple’s names can lead to rogue websites, which trick visitors to believe their computers are infected with viruses.
“We’ve seen this trend before with hot news stories,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “Cyber criminals take advantage of popular search terms to direct browsers to bogus security sites and trick them in to handing over credit card details, or into downloading further dangerous software on to their computers.”
According to Sophos, the criminals convince users their computers is in danger, tricking them into downloading bogus software. Once the computer is infected with fake anti-virus, the software will continue to flood users with warning messages, encouraging them to pay for threats to be removed.
“People mustn’t be distracted by the latest photo of the happy couple when clicking through to links,” Cluley said. “We all need to be on our guard when browsing unknown and untrustworthy sites.”