Malware skips death and taxes, prefers games

The IRS and taxes may be scary, but not because of malware

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, March 23, 2011 – Nothing on the internet is certain, but the odds of visiting an infected website focused on ‘death’ or ‘taxes’ are extremely low according to the avast! Virus Lab.

The avast! list of infected “.com” domains contained over 8,000 site names as of March 22 but it contained only one funeral home, Richards Funeral Home in New Jersey (USA), and three sites with some connection to taxes.

In fact, people surfing the internet are more than one hundred times more likely to encounter an infected gaming site than an infected mortuary or a tax specialist.

If Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, was still around, he would revise his famous statement to read: "In this internet world, nothing is certain – but death and taxes are exceptional."

At AVAST Software, we aren’t going to scare you about extremely rare threats. As of March 15, the web sites of the Internal Revenue Service ( www.irs.gov ) and of the major tax preparation firms such as H&R Block ( www.HRBlock.com ) , Jackson Hewitt ( www.jacksonhewitt.com), TaxACT( www.taxact.com), and Turbo Tax ( www.turbotax.com ) were not infected. The results from these sites may not be what you like and they still may take your money, but not because of malware.

Of course, you should remain alert for phishing schemes. And, when looking for last-minute tax advice, you are vulnerable to hijacked web searches. These criminal networks respond in minutes to popular search topics and world events. Infected sites are not limited to paying taxes or visiting a mortuary online. For safety, you need to have a certified and updated antivirus program at all times – not just when paying taxes or your last respects.

Of course, you should remain alert for phishing schemes. And, when looking for last-minute tax advice, you are vulnerable to hijacked web searches. These criminal networks respond in minutes to popular search topics and world events. Infected sites are not limited to paying taxes or visiting a mortuary online. For safety, you need to have a certified and updated antivirus program at all times – not just when paying taxes or your last respects.

Site Malware
richardsfuneralhome.com/ HTML:Iframe-inf
gametax.com VBS:Malware-gen
stimultaxall.com Win32:FraudTool-SV [Trj]
vgtaxclasses.com/ JS:Illredir-CB [Trj]
galacticflashgames.com JS:Obfuscated-A [Trj]
games-digest.com JS:ScriptIP-inf [Trj]
gameswagon.com Win32:Adware-gen [Adw]
girlsgames724.com JS:Illredir-CB [Trj]
mariogamesplay.com HTML:Iframe-inf
mbrgames.com HTML:Iframe-inf
onlinestargames.com Win32:Downloader-FWT [Trj]
thegameway.com VBS:Obfuscated-gen [Trj]

Historical note: This famous proverb “In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes” is usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin. According to www.phrases.org.uk , it was included in The Works of Benjamin Franklin, printed in 1817.

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