Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton, announced yesterday, was swiftly followed by a spate of malicious links on search engines, a security firm has warned. Computer users seeking news on the happy couple are being infected with poisoned web news pages sourced through the likes of Yahoo and Google search engines, according to software firm Websense.
"Unfortunately, our security researchers have found that many of the “Prince William” search results turning up in Google and Yahoo have been poisoned by malicious hackers, who have manipulated the results to infect computers."
Prince William search terms that have led to malicious search pages being displayed include: "Prince William Wedding", "Prince William Wedding Photos", and "Prince William Wedding Rumors Kate Middleton".
Websense said the web pages contain viruses, worms and other malware. "This is a growing trend – bad guys target the hot news of the moment and take advantage of people’s tendency to trust Google," said the firm.
Recent Websense research found that 22.4 percent of all searches for current news led to malicious search results being displayed to the user.
"Searching for news and buzz words is now more dangerous than searching for porn," said Websense.
According to web security firm McAfee, Cameron Diaz is the “most dangerous” celebrity to search for on the internet. In its annual rankings of the most dangerous celebrity searches on the web, McAfee said “searching for Diaz results in a one in ten chance of landing on a risky site".
Additionally, 19% of sites that popped up while searching for Cameron Diaz screensavers are found to contain malicious downloads, said McAfee.
Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise were the most dangerous men to search for online, it said.