Beware of SOPA Scams
Tomorrow, on January 18, 2012, dozens of popular websites covering a diverse range of subjects will be blacking out their home pages in protest of the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Some of these websites are well-known, such as the English language web site for the encyclopedic Wikipedia and quirky news site Boing Boing, while others may be familiar to gamers (Red 5 Studios and Rock, Paper, Shotgun), social media cognoscenti (the Cheezburger Network, Imgur and Reddit) and other special interest websites. A fairly complete listing of striking websites can be found at the SOPA Strike web site provided by Fight for the Future.
Of course, not all companies who oppose SOPA will be blacking out their websites. eBay, Google, Twitter and Yahoo! are amongst some of the companies whose web properties will remain open during the strike, as will ESET.
While the SOPA blackout may not be affecting websites you visit on a daily basis, it has become big news. Like other newsworthy events these days, it is likely to generate attempts by organized criminals to promote malicious websites by manipulating search engine results through black hat search engine optimization (BHSEO) technique, which we frequently discuss in the ESET Threat Blog.