Mining events for profit

The rescue of the 33 miners from the Chilean mine was an epic, record-setting event followed on TV, print, and internet by one of the largest audiences ever.

Not all of those watching were benevolent.

As interest peaked during the October 13 rescue, some of the search terms were hijacked. These were used to redirect internet surfers – particularly those without an effective antivirus program – to bogus sites and infect their computers with malware.

Some of the more than 35 infected terms included: Miners Rescue, Chilean Mine Rescue, and Rescate De Los Mineros

The cybercriminals interest in the miners was statistical, not emotional. With millions of people looking for information on their fate, cybercriminals had a higher statistical chance that some of them would click on an infected link. "If the search term is visible on Google Trends, it will be infected," wrote Jindrich Kubec, avast! Virus Lab director of virus research, in a midnight message to me.

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