Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

'Prince William bachelor party photos!': Spam!

Royal Wedding, kate middleton, prince williamCybersecutity experts expect royal wedding-related spam to accelerate as curiosity builds in the runup to Prince William and Kate Middleton's nuptials on April 29. By Parija Kavilanz, senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Hot in your inbox: "Kate's Wedding Dress Details - Leaked!" and "Prince William's Bachelor Party Photos!" If you click on these emails, then you've probably been spammed!

With just days to go before the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, buzz is building about what's being pegged as one of the biggest events of the year.

Royal wedding fever is creating a frenzy for Kate and wedding-related searches on Google (GOOG, Fortune 500).

And with the royal nuptials occurring on April 29 -- a Friday -- millions of people around the world are expected to view the event on their computers at work.

But that's where the danger lies, according to cyber security experts.

"Whenever there are big crowds online, we see a spike in criminal activity," said Helen Malani, cybercrime education expert with Norton, a division of Internet security company Symantec Corp (SYMC, Fortune 500).

While many legitimate businesses are hoping to cash in on the mania by selling royal wedding-inspired paraphernalia, Malani said cybercriminals are looking to "crash" the wedding hype, instead.

Norton has tracked an uptick in phishing scams and royal wedding-related "search engine poisoning" since March, Malani said.

She warned that these tactics are primarily financially motivated, designed to steal personal information such as bank account and credit card numbers.

Phishing scams generally use email attachments to spread malicious software. With search engine poisoning, criminals are luring unsuspecting users to websites infested with malware.

Malani said scammers ensure that their "poisoned" query terms rank high up in the search results. When you click on these sites, the malware infests your computer, looking for sensitive personal information.

For instance, Norton experts recently found that 22 of the first 100 searches on Google for "royal wedding gown sketches" were poisoned links, 10 of the first 100 searches for "royal wedding ceremony details" were poisoned as were 10 of the first 100 Google queries for "royal wedding time."

With that in mind, Malani offered three tips to steer clear of scammers.

  • Don't go click crazy: Avoid clicking on emails that promise "leaked" wedding footage or any "secret" information.
  • Go with what you know: While any website can be risky, Malani said users should rely on using sites they are already familiar with and that are reputable.
  • Protect your computer: Make sure your computer is always protected with security software to block threats.

"This royal wedding is truly an e-royal wedding because there's so much information about it on blogs and news websites," said Malani.

"That also means there's plenty of fodder for cybercriminals to do what they do," she said. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,888.35 168.43 0.95%
Nasdaq 5,156.31 47.64 0.93%
S&P 500 2,102.63 22.22 1.07%
Treasuries 2.16 -0.06 -2.84%
Data as of 12:10am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.81 0.43 2.47%
General Electric Co 30.17 0.00 0.00%
Pfizer Inc 33.62 0.00 0.00%
Microsoft Corp 55.22 0.00 0.00%
Apple Inc 117.34 -0.96 -0.81%
Data as of Dec 1


Cyber Monday saw an increase in the number of out-of-stock items this year, according to data from Adobe. More

Strong November U.S. car sales has industry poised to set a record for sales once December results are reported. More

Hive, a startup funded by the UN, is tasked with getting more Americans engaged with the refugee crisis. More

Have you heard of Harvey Mudd College? A degree from this small liberal arts school can cost more than a house, but grads earn about $92,300 a year after getting their degree. Google hired 11 Mudders last year. More