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March Madness: Hoop Dreams Spawn Malware Nightmares

Some interesting stats from security firm Zscaler, Cisco Scansafe and eSoft point out the surge in business bandwidth consumption during NCAA games -- and warn that unwary searching for bracket listings could result in malware being dunked into your system.
Some interesting stats from security firm Zscaler, Cisco Scansafe and eSoft point out the surge in business bandwidth consumption during NCAA games -- and warn that unwary searching for bracket listings could result in malware being dunked into your system.Fun (if obvious) stuff first: a recent Zscaler blog shows a whopping 52% increase in traffic to sports-related sites during the NCAA tournament. Not exactly news, although the blog is lively, with trendline indexing of bandwidth consumption jumps to first and second round game dates. Shows you're not alone in surfing to CBS when the games are on!

Zscaler warns of productivity drops (and does so with what's pretty much an admission of watching the same games)and possible increases in bandwidth costs; Cisco also offered a strong bandwidth warning when it comes to streaming games.

More serious is Zscaler's tracking of malware sites that turn up in NCAA searches on Google.

Some search results -- which, the company points out, aren't exactly 'well-known sports sites" -- pump rogue antivirus redirects at you.

The more some teams' fortunes rise -- and the more unexpectedly they do so -- the more malware pops they prompt. eSoft reported that at one point last weekend 7 out of 10 top Google hits for UNI basketball were malware links.

Talk about adding insult to victory!

Not to mention the sort of shot-deflection you and your IT team don't need.

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Kirsten Powell, Senior Manager for Security & Risk Management at Adobe
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