Here’s a media advisory Norton sent us:
“Hunger Games” Search Results Hide “Poisoned” Online Surprises
Norton Data Shows Internet Searches for Hollywood’s Hottest New Franchise May Return Dangerous Results for Fans
WHAT/WHY: The dystopian world of the “Hunger Games” has enraptured millions of fans around the world, and cybercriminals are paying attention. Following the wild success of the young adult novel trilogy, the first blockbuster installment of the series is slated to hit the big screen on March 23, and where there are curious fans scouring the Internet for information and exclusive sneak peeks, there are crafty cybercriminals looking to capitalize.
While video tutorials on character Katniss Everdeen’s trendy braid are innocent enough, Norton has found that a variety of searches related to the movies and books are turning up malicious results. Although difficult for the average user to distinguish, these “poisoned” links can instantly infect your computer with viruses, keylogging programs (which allow criminals to monitor your typing) and other software that can wreak havoc on your smartphone, computer or tablet. Ensuing problems can make you feel as though you’re battling against your devices.
To date, we have seen malicious results related to the trilogy, film star Jennifer Lawrence, and author Suzanne Collins.
Top search terms that we’ve already seen returning poisoned results include:
- Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
- The Hunger Games trilogy
- Jennifer Lawrence Stuns at Hunger Games
- Gale Hawthorne quotes
Norton expects to see an increase in the number of poisoned search results as anticipation for the movie comes to a boil.
EXPERTS: Norton experts are available to share tips on how users can protect themselves from “Hunger Games”-related threats online, including:
- Choose your allies carefully – Katniss Everdeen wouldn’t trust the people trying to defeat her, and neither should you. Cybercriminals promise sensational content, such as leaked videos, to lure you into clicking on their poisoned links. Better to get your information from a website you trust, and use the free tool Norton Safe Web Lite to lead you to safe search results.
- Know how to defend yourself – Online security software from a reputable company will identify malicious links and protect against other unseen threats. Norton 360 allows you to surf online safely and will warn you away from lurking foes.
- Don’t be tempted by false hope – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Evaluate the information you come across as though it were propaganda from the Capitol – all that glitters isn’t gold so don’t let your curiosity overcome common sense.
Thanks to Farm Saechou for the tip!