Symantec: ‘Hunger Games’ Internet search results ‘poisoned’ by cybercriminals

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Cyber criminals are taking advantage of Internet search results for “The Hunger Games,” exploiting the curiosity of fans.

A recent alert by Internet security firm Symantec Corporation warned Internet users that search results for information about the movie, or even sneak peeks of the movie, also include results that could adversely affect the user’s computer.

“While video tutorials on character Katniss Everdeen’s trendy braid are innocent enough, Norton has found that a variety of searches related to the movies and books are turning up malicious results,” the company wrote.

Searches include: “Hunger Games Suzanne Collins,” “Hunger Games Free Movie Download” and “Hunger Games Full Movie Torrent.”

“Although difficult for the average user to distinguish, these “poisoned” links can instantly infect your computer with viruses, keylogging programs (which allow criminals to monitor your typing) and other software that can wreak havoc on your smartphone, computer or tablet. Ensuing problems can make you feel as though you’re battling against your devices,” the statement continued.

The movie, an adaptation of the literary series by author Suzanne Collins, brought in record sales of $152.5 million in North America during its opening weekend at the box office.

Symnatec’s experts expect to see an increase poisoned search results as interest in the movie grows.

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