Soccer Security: Beware Malicious World Cup Sites

Dennis Faas's picture

It truly might be the headbutt felt 'round the world: in the wake of Zinedine Zidane's World Cup final cranium-to-chest smash of Marco Materazzi, certain deceptive websites are taking advantage of popular interest to install malicious code on systems around the globe.

Those soccer (or football) fans still desperate for news on the controversial play -- and there are many -- are being infected with a trojan horse downloader when they visit a fake (but official-looking) FIFA World Cup 2006 web site.

Websense Security Labs, a group that monitors online threats such as this, have been warning Internet surfers of the issue since the 14th of this month. The website itself sucks victims in by offering a story on the controversial Zidane red card that shocked the world and drastically changed the dynamic of the World Cup final.

Drawing on popular interest in the play, the website offers some possible answers on what Materazzi might have said to Zidane to provoke the act. (Source:

The malicious site is hosted in the United States and uses the "Web Attacker" toolkit.

This is hardly the first time the World Cup or its popularity have proved infectious for computers around the globe. In late June, reports surfaced alleging that the Sixem-A worm was being passed through emails whose subject line cited World Cup events. The email in this case, when run, attempted to disable a user's security software and then spread to other email addresses. (Source:

For those on the watch, common sense is again the best medicine. Most major sporting events, such as the World Cup or Olympics, typically avoid scandals or controversial plays that dictate a negative stigma. The real FIFA website, for the most part, avoids drawing attention to the headbutt.

As for the emails, most users should know by now that opening a message entitled 'Naked World Cup game set', is hardly wise (despite the inevitable temptation).

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