Hackers have targeted Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement news online by poisoning search engine optimisation in news results related to the big story of the day.

It’s become a common trend for hackers to pick up on big news stories as a way of infecting unwitting internet users by concealing viruses in links connected to the subject that is being searched.

Since the news broke yesterday morning at 11am when Clarence House released a statement confirming the royal engagement and plans for a 2011 wedding, thousands of media reports from across the world have been published online.

Hackers are taking advantage of the surge in online searches for news reports on the royal engagement by infecting specific news results online using a technique known as SEO poisoning which leaks viruses into computers.

The scam works by alerting the user that their spyware needs updating or a new system installed once they click on the news link. If the user accepts the request to install a new fake spyware system, the hacker is able to corrupt the users’ computer with malware and scareware.

Other hot topics which have been used in the past by hackers to spread viruses include the news of Michael Jackson’s death last year, and also the Haiti earthquake disaster.

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