Sophos is warning all internet users to be wary of web sites claiming to host a controversial nude video of glamorous ESPN reporter Erin Andrews – as hackers, spammers and scammers exploit renewed interest in the story following imprisonment of the stalker.
Michael David Barrett was sent to jail for two-and-a-half years this week, after secretly filming the US sports reporter through the peephole of her hotel room door, without her knowledge or consent.
Opportunists and hackers are taking advantage of renewed interest in the peephole video (which is currently the 6th most searched for thing on the web) by creating web pages and links that claim to contain the video, but are really traps designed to infect and scam unsuspecting users.
"If you visit a site, which claims to contain the peephole video, you could be exposing yourself to malware (such as fake anti-virus), spam and other scams," says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa. "The scammers are busy at work creating content designed to entrap those who go hunting for sleazy videos."
As well as web pages, scores of uploads have been made to YouTube since yesterday's jail sentence, claiming to contain footage from the controversial video. Typically, when played, the YouTube videos will display a message saying that for copyright reasons they cannot show you the video – but instead urge you to click a link to a third party site.
That link to a third party website may simply be designed to drive traffic to a spam page, or lead to a page that asks you to sign up for a service, take a survey or carry malware.