Security firms warn of iPad scams

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Security firms warn of iPad scams

Crooks looking to cash in on tablet hype.

Interest in Apple's iPad tablet is likely to spark a wave of online scams in the coming weeks, according to security experts.

Attacks have already begun to appear, including search-engine poisoning attacks designed to direct users to attack pages.

Security firm WebSense reported in a security alert that attacks began to appear within hours of the iPad's unveiling. Specially crafted sites have been loaded with keywords in order to appear on Google searches for terms such as 'Apple Tablet'.

The company noted that many of the sites redirect users to attack sites that attempt to trick users into purchasing and installing fake anti-virus software.

Symantec also warned users of attacks playing on the interest in Apple's new device. The company said that cyber-criminals will try to defraud users with fake retail and promotional offers for free or discounted iPads.

"The excitement over the iPad has been building for months now, so it's only to be expected that its announcement would spark a huge spike in search traffic relating to certain terms," said Candid Wueest, a researcher at Symantec.

"Sadly, this is just the kind of opportunity fraudsters like to exploit by poisoning search terms, and we can also expect to see iPad-related spam and phishing attacks hitting consumers hard over the coming weeks."

Internet users are advised to keep system and security software updated, be wary of unsolicited email and instant messages, and avoid any unknown or suspicious retail offers.

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