The media storm surrounding the birth of George Alexander Louis on July 22. 2013, better known as "the royal baby," offers eager hackers the ideal opportunity to make a profit from the heightened public interest in all things royal. A series of malware spam campaigns and other post-baby digital scams are expected to flood the Internet following the birth of the young prince, offering the public a private glimpse at everything from secret videos to exclusive photographs in order to gain access to personal information.
Scammers, hackers and other Internet pests do not spend their days idly waiting to plan their next major cyber-attack. Events such as the royal birth promote calculated attacks designed to lure victims at the height of public curiosity. Scams and hacking actions often result in serious consequences for consumers, including stolen identities, lost financial data and corrupted computers. As a result, protecting bank accounts, electronic devices and personal information while still enjoying the latest Internet gossip requires consumers to remain vigilant for new trends in cybercrime. Any Internet user searching for the most recent updates on baby Prince George should keep in mind the following common celebrity Internet scams and hacker campaigns as royal mania reaches its peak over the coming weeks:
- Phishing scams: Tempting never-before-seen photographs and underground videos are a sure sign of a malware phishing scam aimed at enticing Internet users to download content containing harmful material designed to destroy computers or gain access to personal information. Oftentimes, these phishing scams appear as links on social media websites and through personal email.
- Search engine poisoning: Pop culture events such as the birth of a new member of the royal family turn Internet users into targets due to the notable trend in searches, whereby cybercriminals market deceptive links on top Web search findings. These links often lead to fabricated websites containing corrupted content.
- Spyware and Trojans: Video downloads and clicked links represent just a few of the ways scammers access personal information and damage devices. Visits to inauthentic websites and video player updates and installations serve as other means for hackers to access personal data when such downloads actually contain malware, spyware and Trojans.
Fortunately for the average Internet gossip enthusiast, avoiding a royal baby scam remains relatively easy. By carefully deleting emails containing links from unknown sources and avoiding emails sent from unfamiliar individuals, many of the simple phishing campaigns will likely be evaded. Likewise, sticking to trusted news agencies and recognized websites promotes accurate information and reduces the risk of malware downloads. Lastly, established and up-to-date anti-virus software continues to provide the first line of defense against scammer and hacker campaigns such as those expected to follow the birth of baby Prince George.