Story

Internet users warned of 'poison links' ahead of London Olympics

Spammers are now tempting people into sharing their personal information by inviting them to take part in the London 2012 Olympics as "co-coordinators and welcome partners", it has been revealed.

Leading internet security firm Symantec Corp has identified more than 300 websites that have been compromised even before the Olympics kicks off on July 27 and the number is rising by the day.
As the excitement builds up, the firm has uncovered a new scam where spammers entice people into sharing data by telling them that they can play a role in the Olympics.

The scam message is sent as an official letter by the spammers, complete with the Olympics logo, asking the recipient to provide details of personal data up front and, sometimes, also payment for the expenses.
 

This is a red flag for this kind of promotion. The inclusion of the official logo is to deceive users into believing its legitimacy," the Star Online quoted Symantec Security Response Malaysia senior country manager Alex Ong as saying.

Ong warned that cyber criminals were taking advantage of avid sports fans' ignorance and curiosity to tempt them into clicking on "engineered links" that could contain malicious software, phishing attempts or malicious content.

Search terms that are related to the Olympics have returned a large number of poisoned links.

"As the Olympics draws nearer, we expect this type of threat to grow. Users should check the legitimacy of any message before downloading attachments and avoid clicking on links to prevent the misuse of personal and sensitive information such as account numbers," he added.

Earlier this month, Symantec intercepted a spam attack targeting Euro 2012, which told the readers of their winning a Euro 2012 Cup promotion lottery but asked for their personal details in its "official" online form to collect the award.