'High School Musical'-themed malware hits the Net

Security vendor warns that cybercriminals are targeting teens and young adults with social engineering.

Disney

Teens and young adults interested in downloading High School Musical-related music and video on peer-to-peer networks should be wary of malware, warns Panda Security.

While this may be obvious to older computer uses, younger users may not yet have experience with the social engineering used by malware writers, the security vendor said Friday in a press release.

Social engineering is not new, of course, and its creators are constantly trying new ways to hook people in. The day after the U.S. presidential election, for example, there was a wave of Barack Obama-related video links that attempted to download malware as well.

If a person opens a High School Musical-themed video or song on any peer-to-peer network such as eMule or eDonkey, his or her computer may be infected with infected by VB.ADQ, the Agent.KGR Trojan, the adware Koolbar, or another strain of malicious code.

Panda recommends being cautious when downloading files. In particular, notice the file extension. Many of the malicious files have the extension ".exe," but that is rarely the case with a legitimate music or video file.

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    As CNET's resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security. Listen to his podcast at securitybites.cnet.com or e-mail Robert with your questions and comments.

     

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