We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Stephen Gately death exploited by hackers

SEO pushes infected web pages to top of Google

Hackers have already starting exploiting the death of pop star Stephen Gately just 48 hours after the singer died, says Sophos.

According to the security firm, web users searching Google for information of the singer's death could find themselves being directed to web page infected with malicious code, after hackers employed search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to push the dangerous website to the top of the search engine's results.

"If you visit one of these websites on an unprotected computer then you will be bombarded with bogus security warnings that try and convince you that your PC is infected with malware," said Graham Cluley from Sophos.

The fake antivirus software, also known as scareware, is fast becoming one of the biggest threats on the web.

Gately, who was a member of Irish boyband Boyzone, was found dead in the Spanish island of Majorca this weekend.

Cluley warned that hackers are employing the same tactics they used following the death of Patrick Swayze and Natasha Richardson to attack web users.

"My advice is to trust the established news outlets for news, and keep the security of your PC in tip-top condition. After all, who knows what the hackers might do with your information if you hand over your credit card details?"

Broadband speed test

PC security advice

See also: Auto Twitter profiles used to spread scareware


IDG UK Sites

Best January sales 2015 UK tech deals LIVE: Best New Year bargains and savings on phones, tablets,...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

2015 visual trends: 20 leading designers & artists reveal what should be inspiring us in 2015

IDG UK Sites

10 iPhone app exclusives that make Android users jealous