Over at IT Wire they have a story about fake news articles allegedly from CNN or MSNBC, are being spoofed in an attempt to spread malware and spyware onto computer systems. The article states that the amount of fake news spam is about 5 million articles per hour. But is that a lot of spam? According to one source, a recent botnet could actually send out 7.8 billion spams per hour.
For years this has always been a problem that most of us just accept as everyday life on the Internet. We also have learned that our best defense is a reliable anti-virus/spyware program set to monitor the traffic coming into our systems. But these fake news articles are trying to attach themselves to alerts that may appear to be a valid link. What to do?
If you haven’t subscribed to a web site’s alert service, don’t open emails that purport to be such alerts. If you have subscribed, think twice before clicking on the links. The safest approach is probably to open the real site’s home page in your browser and then navigate to the story of interest – if it’s actually there!
In the longer term, a decent spam filter (either running on your computer, your mail provider’s server, or a third-party filtering service) should reduce the amount of spam that reaches you.
So what protections do you have in place? Have you experienced a fake news alert that contained suspected malware? What action did you take? Let us know.