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Guest Blog // Selected Security Content Provided By Sophos
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10/19/2009
09:38 AM
Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
Security Insights
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Balloon Boy TV Circus Exploited By Hackers

Malicious hackers are poisoning search engines to entrap computer users hunting for the latest news on the Falcon Heene case.

Malicious hackers are poisoning search engines to entrap computer users hunting for the latest news on the Falcon Heene case.It shouldn't be a surprise, of course. After all, we've recently seen cybercriminals exploiting interest in breaking news stories, such as the deaths of Hollywood actor Patrick Swayze and Boyzone boyband star Stephen Gately, and even the on-court outburst of tennis ace Serena Williams.

But the story of the 6-year-old boy who had apparently hitched a lift in his father's experimental helium balloon has transfixed America for some days. Interest shows no sign of subsiding, as the boy was first found, then said some things on TV that made people think perhaps the whole scare was a hoax devised by his parents, and then vomited during a TV interview.

Understandably, perhaps, people have been searching the Internet for the latest developments in the story -- and that's where hackers have been taking advantage.

Dangerous Balloon Boy search result

Of course, visiting such Websites could put your computer and identity at risk.

When a hot news story breaks, you would be wiser to go to the established news Websites rather than trusting Web pages that could have been created specifically by hackers with the intention of defrauding you out of your money.

Graham Cluley is senior technology consultant at Sophos, and has been working in the computer security field since the early 1990s. When he's not updating his other blog on the Sophos website, you can find him on Twitter at @gcluley. Special to Dark Reading.

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