Gaddafi and Search Poisoning: Think before clicking on search results

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

  • Joe

    Very good to know. This has happened to me, just didn't know what it was.

  • Krishnanand

    It is really helpful

  • Teresa O’Bannon

    Thanks!   I'm new to using computers….this was really helpful for me. 

  • Donna Hogan

    Good video, very clear explanation.
    And you have a pleasant voice for narration. Very atypical for this sort of thing.

  • Horacio Serna

    Excelent Video !!! Very clear explanation.

  • Michael Brininstool

    I have tried and tried to fidn the VIDEO itself.  All I can find is the above article saying the video has been created.  I looked on FB and it links to this article.  "Where's the beef?"

    • David Harley

      I’m afraid I can’t replicate your problem. Works fine for me. Sorry…

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