Some days, the Internet really does feel a lot like the Old West. Vile, mustachioed bandits using a false trail to draw unsuspecting travelers into an ambush certainly feels like something we'd see in a John Wayne film.
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But, minus the mustaches (maybe), that's what PandaLabs says is really going on all around the Internet. They say that so-called 'cyber-criminals' (which is a term I hate, they're still criminals guys, no need to invent a silly new buzzword) are setting up fake search engines all around the Internet. All of these engines direct any search you make to pages loaded up with malware.
PandaLabs says that this new trend indicates that cyber-crime is getting 'increasingly professional'. I say it's just a sign that criminals are finally starting to acclimate to the Internet in the same way as the rest of us have. Despite the fact that it occurs on the Internet, this new 'trend' is an incredibly ancient practice. Bandits and brigands have been leading travelers astray and beating them senseless since before we wore shoes.
Anyway, the main thing you need to know to keep yourself safe online is to stay away from anything that asks you to download or upgrade to the latest version of 'Web Media Player'. Whatever happens, DO NOT DOWNLOAD WEB MEDIA PLAYER. It is poison to your computer.
Most of these cyberspace sailing pirates are setting up their false engines to snare people looking for 'swine flu' information, as well as any sort of celebrity gossip. You don't have to stop panicking about the coming epidemic or googling about J-Lo's baby, but be careful any time a link takes you somewhere that doesn't look like any search engine you recognize.
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Be safe out there in the wilderness folks. Happy trails.