Experts warn of Oscars-related phishing threats

oscarThis weekend’s Academy Awards ceremonies promises to end weeks of speculation surrounding which of the nominated films will walk away with Hollywood’s most coveted prize.

But be warned, as you watch the evening unfold on TV as well as online, there are plenty of party-poopers out there who will be trying to spoil your evening – and we don’t mean by giving away the ending.

According to Symantec, the creators of the Norton family of security products, plenty of malicious websites have already been created and are appearing in the search results related to potential Oscar-winners.

How bad is it? Symantec claims “Out of the top 100 search results related to the Oscar nomination announcements, more than 42% contained potentially malicious content.”

That’s a lot of risky sites!

But it seems that the cybercriminals have been deliberate in their choice of which actors and films to use as bait for unsuspecting web-surfers. Of all the Oscar-related searches, it turns out that George Clooney has the most malicious results of any nominated actor, Meryl Streep of any┬ánominated actress and the movie “Nine” of any nominated movies.

While the choice of Clooney and Streep aren’t surprising as they appear to be the front-runners in their respective categories, “Nine” is a more curious choice given that the big contest amongst movies is between James Cameron’s “Avatar” and his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker.”

Whatever the motivation, suffice it to say you should use care when checking out sites that claim to have the latest information on these and other Oscar topics.

An up-to-date security package might not be a bad idea either :-)


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