PC Tools says these scams they discovered are particularly malicious because they look – and feel – like legitimate websites.

These scams are attacking fans now.  The music portion of the Austin festival runs from March 15th – 20th, with over 2,000 acts playing at the festival’s official showcases on more than 80 stages.  Attendance is expected to top at 200,000.

But as those fans search for information and material on their favorite artists, PC Tools predicts some of them will be struck by Bogus Music Downloads, a Search Results Virus Scam, a Free Ringtone Scam and an Infected Image Search Scam. Please see the following press release for details of the scams PC Tools has discovered.

PC Tools is setting up its base of operations at SXSW at Booth #224 from 3/14 – 17 to alert attendees to these scams as well as educate fans about how they can keep their computers running safely and effectively.  If you would like, we can arrange an interview on site or on the phone.

We’re hoping you can share this news with your audience as soon as you can to let music fans know they can’t be too careful – or too protected.

PC Tools Uncovers Online Music Threats at SXSW 2011

PC Tools Offers Protection for the Latest Online Scams

Austin, Texas, SXSW Booth #224 & #226, March 15, 2011 – Music fans are converging online to follow South By Southwest (SXSW) and festival acts like Cee Lo Green, The Strokes and Duran Duran.  PC Tools discovered a new breed of malicious scams targeting fans as they search for music downloads, live concert videos and photos of their favorite bands.

Bogus Music Downloads:  This new search-related scam involves legitimate-looking websites offering free or discounted music downloads. A search for “Cee Lo Green, Forget You” turned up free download sites that either tricked users into providing their credit card information or convinced people to install fake antivirus software by telling them their computer was infected.

Search Results Virus Scam:  Cybercriminals are using new search-related scams by buying online ads or key search words so their sites appear as high-ranked results. In a search for SXSW’s headliner “Duran Duran,” the top results featured legitimate-looking advertisements that redirected people to fake antivirus malware sites like “Get free lyrics,” “Take this quiz to win,” or “Enter to win contest.” This technique of seeding search and seeding ad results dupes users and attacks systems with viruses and malware.

Free Ringtone Scam:  Many browser searches related to a band, artist or song yield results that feature ringtone ads or free offers.  A search for “The Strokes music” reveals “free ringtone offers.”  A user clicks on the free offer, provides cell phone number and carrier name. Initially, there is no mention of any subscription charges. Later the user is billed by the mobile carrier for the ringtone and may find it difficult to cancel. Some ringtone pop-ups or sites may also infect systems.

Infected Image Search Scam: Cybercriminals are using image searches as a new way to attack users’ systems. A search on a celebrity, singer or band name reveals high-ranked images that may have embedded malware or links to malicious sites.  When a music fan clicks on the picture unknowingly, the malicious program is downloaded and starts running on their system.

“The cyber threats have gotten more sophisticated and complex,” said Stephanie Edwards, PC Tools Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The hackers are shifting into new territories of social media, online search and human behaviors to develop new threats and social engineered scams.”

“Our job is to stay ahead of the new threats with our behavioral-based detection technologies,” Edwards added. “Our award-winning software, PC Tools™ Internet Security 2011 and PC Tools Spyware Doctor™ with Antivirus 2011, offers powerful, real-time protection against known and unknown threats with advanced antimalware, antispam and firewall. We want consumers to enjoy their music without the headaches online viruses bring.”

Learn more at www.pctools.com or visit us at SXSW 2011

Recharge and Refresh with PC Tools at SXSW

SXSW Expo, Booth #224 & #226    3/14 – 17/2011

Visit our oasis to refresh and recharge your devices before heading off to the hottest SXSW parties and concerts. Take fun photos at our free photo booth, enter to win daily prizes and our grand prize trip for two to this year’s Coachella Music Festival. Learn more about our award-winning protection and performance products and pick up trial versions of PC Tools Internet Security 2011 and PC Tools Performance Toolkit 2011.

Follow our Twitter hashtag for all SXSW news: #PCTSXSW

Follow us on Twitter at @pctools or on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/PCTools

About PC Tools

PC Tools is dedicated to building and supplying consumers with simple, effective and affordable PC protection and performance tools.  For over twelve years, we have offered industry-leading and award-winning products to tackle the world’s evolving threats and security challenges.

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