The death of 32-year-old actress Brittany Murphy Dec. 20 has touched off a flurry of malicious activity, with attackers looking to take advantage of anyone looking for information about her death.
According to McAfee, the following searches have been yielding questionable results:
Brittany Murphy dies Brittany Murphy dead Brittany Murphy husband Brittany Murphy death hoax Ashton Kutcher Brittany Murphy Brittany Murphy 8 mile Brittany Murphy luanne
This type of search result poisoning is nothing new. After the earthquake hit Samoa a few months ago, security vendor AVG Technologies reported that attackers were able to get links to their malicious sites in Google's top 10 search results in just 24 hours.
"The bad guys have been using celebrity deaths and natural disasters as a successful lure for most of this year," Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications for McAfee Labs, warned in a blog post Dec. 21. "The words 'Brittany' and 'Murphy' along with related event words are trending very high in Google Trends and Tweetcloud currently. This means the bad guys will be using it as a lure because users are already searching for information on the subject. Make sure you are aware of the trend and stay one step ahead of them!"