Malware served up thanks to solar eclipse

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In a reprise of an old trick, cybercriminals are using SEO poisoning to attract victims to a rogue software site, according to Trend Micro.

When a user seaches for information on the recent solar eclipse, the results may contain links to scareware-hosting sites.

The ruse is not the first to capitalise on celestial events. For example, after a blood-red lunar eclipse in February 2008, hucksters tried to lure users into downloading malware onto their systems.

In a post on the TrendLabs Malware Blog, senior threat researcher Joey Costoya - who is credited with discovering the attack - described how the latest scam works:

“When users query the phrase ‘solar eclipse 2009 in America' in popular search engines, certain top ranking sites would redirect users to a malicious site under the domain name antispyware-scannerv3, which is where the malware is hosted," Costoya claimed.

Last week's eclipse, with a trajectory over China and India, was the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century.

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