The bad guys know you far too well. They know that all they have to do is say they have video footage of Bin Laden and many people will mindlessly click. As is always the case with any big news headlines, there are fake videos being posted with the intent of infecting your computer and other things you really aren’t looking for. The bad guys also understand search engine optimization (SEO) and know how to make their malicious sites show up early in the search results.
Always stick with well known sites for your news information. You can go to sites you haven’t heard of before, as long as they are coming recommended by friends and you know that your friend actually did recommend them. That means a simple email, IM or Facebook post doesn’t cut it… you don’t know if your friend’s account was compromised. You need to have a dialog with your friend.
The truth is that no matter what you are looking for the bad guys are trying to make sure you find their bad sites, however when it comes to natural disasters, such as the recent tornados in the south of the USA, Charlie Sheen, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, or celebrity news, the bad guys go into overdrive in trying to trick you into going to their web pages.
Look carefully at your search results and stick to well known sites. YouTube does not count as a well known site because they have virtually no control over what gets posted, hence it is a common place for the bad guys to post videos. The folks at YouTube are quite good at removing the bad posts, but it takes time.
Director of Technical Education
Cyber Threat Analysis Center
ESET North America
Author ESET Research, We Live Security