Security leader McAfee Inc. reports that savvy cyber crooks are taking advantage of the annual international outbreak of Academy Award fever to foist some sleazy new scams on the move-going public.


This crop of scams is not spam-based. Rather, it involves a host of new Web sites purporting to offer insider info on favourite films and actors in the Oscar race.

McAfee says simply clicking on the link for one of these bogus sites in a list of search results from any legitimate search engine can open your computer up to threats ranging from spyware, spam and viruses to phishing, adware and other malware. In some cases, all you have to do is visit the site. In others, you are asked to download a plug-in or click on something before you can view the site.

According to McAfee’s most recent tally of reported scam sites, the most dangerous Oscar nominees to seek out online are…

  • Most dangerous actor: Brad Pitt
  • Most dangerous actress: Kate Winslet
  • Most dangerous supporting actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Most dangerous supporting actress: Penelope Cruz
  • Most dangerous film: Frost Nixon

How can you avoid getting nailed by a driveby download from a bogus Oscar site? The simplest and most effective way is to simply not visit any ‘Oscars’ site that isn’t attached to a legitimate media organization or the Academy Awards organization, itself.

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