Football fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Panini’s range of player stickers for Fifa’s 2010 World Cup and the Internet will be the centre of a bustling trade in these sought after collectables. Researchers warn, however, that even this seemingly innocent activity has its dangers.
According to Candid Wueest, senior threat researcher at Symantec, past experience shows that millions of these stickers will be traded in schoolyards, pubs and online as collectors seek to complete their collections.
“There are dozens of websites that facilitate this trade and it is here where collectors need to be aware. At Symantec we record information on more than 13 000 websites that have been infected with malware each day.”
Wueest believes it is inevitable that as the World Cup approaches many of the player sticker websites will become the target of cybercriminals looking to profit from this popular activity.
“Websites like these are just as likely to get infected with malware as any other site. As soon as a user visits an infected site, a vulnerability in the browser or in one of the installed plug-ins will be misused to clandestinely take over the PC, turning it into a bot,” he says. (For more information on bots check out Botnets)
Wueest recommends that card traders stick to the “real world” and conduct their trades with people they know to avoid any risk.
“To-date we haven’t picked up any spam e-mails exploiting the demand for player cards, but it’s not farfetched to expect them. Users are advised to remain vigilant if they wish to enjoy safe trading,” he adds.