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Security Response

Caught You Clickin’

Created: 11 Feb 2011 12:52:25 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:22:50 GMT • Translations available: 日本語
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For those of you who arrived on this page after clicking on our Bit.ly link, we caught you clicking! Not that we blame you, though. After all, everyone loves clicking on links!

However, this just goes to show why social engineering is as effective in spreading malware today as it was exactly ten years ago, when the Anna Kournikova virus sped across the Internet almost as fast as the tennis star’s serve.

The virus was so successful because, well, let’s face it, everyone wanted to check out the athletic beauty’s latest picture. In the end, though, all they got was a malware infection and a hard life lesson: "curiosity killed the cat."

The fact of the matter is that not much has changed in this regard. Today, just about anyone or anything making headlines seems to be fair game for malware authors and phishers to exploit. The popularity of shortened URLs—which, as a byproduct, disguise where link-clickers are actually being taken—has only made the problem more challenging. In fact, the majority of today’s shortened URLs are malicious, but that’s a discussion that will have to wait until Symantec releases its Internet Security Threat Report XVI later this year.

In the meantime, here’s our full blog post on the ten year anniversary of the Anna Kournikova virus: http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/10th-anniversary-anna-kournikova-virus.