The same week that 'New Moon' is slated to hit theaters, a new 'scareware' scheme targets Internet users looking for info on the 'Twilight' franchise.
Fans of "Twilight" and "New Moon" already have plenty to be scared about – vampires, werewolves, a swirling debate over the feminist values of Stephenie Meyer's hit series.
But what about malware? According to reports from the around the Internet this morning, the Twihard set was recently targeted by a group of online scammers, who sought to profit off the "New Moon" hype.
Here's how it went down: If you searched for "Stephenie Meyer" on Google yesterday, one of the results that popped up was a listing for "Stephenie Meyer at 365Multimedia.com." Sounds fairly innocuous. Clicking on the link launched a security scan, which told users that their computer was at risk of malware infestation.
Of course the whole thing was a scam, and those unlucky enough to click through the prompts were asked to purchase a cleanup program for $80.
80 bucks! That's a lot of movie theater tickets. Or a lot of copies of Stephenie Meyer's books. Either way – it's a bad way to lose a hefty chunk of change.
So how can you avoid falling prey to this kind of stuff in the future? In an interview earlier this year, Dave Marcus, director of security research and communication at McAfee Avert Labs, told the Monitor that the best precaution is common sense. Don't click on strange links, and don't download anything from an unfamiliar website.
Marcus also suggested a list of precautions all users should follow: run regular antivirus scans; invest in prepackaged security suites marketed by companies such as Symantec, McAfee Avert, and Panda; pay attention to site advisories, and track reports of new viruses.
And stuff some garlic in your shirt sleeves.
On a unrelated note, Robert Pattinson, one of the stars of "New Moon," recently told a reporter that the "Twilight" series was like a "virus." Ha. Anyway, drop us a line on Twitter. We're @CSMHorizonsBlog.