Press Releases

Unedited news and product information from vendors.

More Than 200 Websites Use 'Justin Bieber' as Bait to Distribute Malware, According to PandaLabs
Aug 18, 2010 (11:08 AM EDT)


- Blackhat SEO techniques are being used by cyber-criminals to position malicious links among the top results in search engines

- Other popular topics recently used include the last episode of 'Lost' and the release of 'Iron Man 2'

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- PandaLabs, Panda Security's antimalware laboratory, has detected more than 200 spoof Web addresses using the name 'Justin Bieber' as bait to lure users. When including the name of this pop singer and teen sensation in malicious links, cyber-criminals are distributing the fake antivirus MySecurityEngine. This technique has been used many times in the past, taking advantage of popular topics such as the series finale of 'Lost' or the release of the movie, 'Iron Man 2'.

References to Justin Bieber in malicious links include examples such as:  

  • justin bieber takes estrogen pills did justin bieber died
  • justin bieber smoking weed
  • justin bieber born in 1998
  • justin bieber north korea
  • justin bieber arrested
  • justin bieber died
  • justin bieber drinking problem
  • justin bieber gender change operation
  • justin bieber hermaphrodite
  • justin bieber i m gay!
  • justin bieber pregnant
  • justin bieber removes left testicle

A screenshot of website links displaying these terms can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/panda_security/4903310831/

There is nothing new about the way this infection operates. When somebody runs a search for 'Justin Bieber' on the Internet, these fake websites have been indexed to appear among the first results displayed. If users click these links, they will be prompted to accept the download of a file, such as a codec, and the fake antivirus will be installed on their computers. An image displaying this prompt is available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/panda_security/4903898962/

"These types of activities have become increasingly common," said Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs. "Any popular topic or issue is being used by cyber-crooks to spread their creations. By positioning websites used to distribute malware among the first results in search engines, they can be sure that numerous Internet users will inadvertently download the fake antivirus."

PandaLabs advises users to take precautions when searching for information on the Internet, make sure they have reliable antivirus software installed and use safe browsing tools, such as those offered for free by Panda Security at http://free.pandasecurity.com.

About PandaLabs

Since 1990, its mission has been to detect and eliminate new threats as rapidly as possible to offer our clients maximum security. To do so, PandaLabs has an innovative automated system that analyzes and classifies thousands of new samples a day and returns automatic verdicts (malware or goodware). This system is the basis of Collective Intelligence, Panda Security's new security model which can even detect malware that has evaded other security solutions.

Currently, 99.4 percent of malware detected by PandaLabs is analyzed through this system of Collective Intelligence. This is complemented through the effort of several teams, each specialized in a specific type of malware (viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, phishing, spam, etc), working 24/7 to provide global coverage. This translates into more secure, simpler and more resource-friendly solutions for clients.

More information is available in the PandaLabs blog: http://www.pandalabs.com.

For more information, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.

SOURCE Panda Security