IT security and data protection firm is warning computer users
keen to read the latest developments in the story about the Tiger
Woods car accident that they may be walking straight into a trap
set by hackers.
Sophos discovered that hackers were not slow to take advantage
of the breaking news story,
and by early Saturday morning had created webpages which claimed to
contain video footage related to the incident, but that were really
designed to spread dangerous malware.
By using content related to the top golfer's mysterious car
accident and his alleged relationship with New York party girl
Rachel Uchitel, the cybercriminals have made their attack timely
and ensured that it will feature high up in search engine results,
increasing the chances of unsuspecting victims visiting the
"The Tiger Woods story has been one of the top news stories
around the world this weekend, and search engine statistics show
that many people have been hunting for developments via the web.
Hackers don't waste any time jumping on the coat-tails of a hot
news story like this, in their attempt to infect as many computer
users as possible," said Graham
Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Foolhardy
internet users who believe they are about to watch video footage
related to Tiger Woods's current troubles may find the website is
trying to surreptitiously install a Trojan horse onto their
computer, handing control over to cybercriminals."
Sophos notes that if computer users do visit the poisoned
webpages, a malicious Trojan horse known as
Troj/Proxy-JN can be installed on their computers, allowing
hackers to relay spam via the victim's PC without their
"This is a threat both for home users and companies. Many people
may return from the weekend and use their office PCs to find out
the latest news this morning - only to have their computers
silently infected," continued Cluley.
More information about this threat, including images
of an infected webpage, is available on
Graham Cluley's blog
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.