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Scam artists and cyber-criminals welcomed today's news of the demise of Libyan leader Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi (often referred to as simply Gaddafi or Gadhafi). Why? Because few events fuel Internet search activity as much as the death of a famous–or infamous–person, although celebrity weddings and divorces are also a big search driver. It's a fact of modern life that whenever a name pops into the news a lot of people Google that name, and scam artists use this to trick people into visiting flaky websites.
We call this scam "search poisoning" and I recorded a short video that shows you what search poisoning looks like. The example that I used involves Paul McCartney, who I am happy to say is still alive, but the same scam will probably be used to exploit people's interest in the demise of Gaddafi.
If you found this video helpful, please leave a comment and let me know. And hopefully the message of the video is clear: Exercise caution when searching, particularly when your search relates to a topic that is in the news.
Author Stephen Cobb, ESET