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eSoft Spots Key Trend: Football and Hockey Seasons Off to Malicious Start on Web

October 2009 by eSoft

eSoft, Inc., announced that as the American football and hockey seasons get underway and baseball heads into the playoffs, the company’s Threat Prevention Team has noticed a startling increase in the number of compromised sports websites.

As reported in the company’s Threat Center 21 September 2009 blog posting, “Google Users Targeted By New Malicious Websites” (, when searching for “nhl all-time scoring leaders” in Google, half of the top ten search results were compromised or malicious websites, which, when visited, caused the computers of visitors to be infected with information stealing viruses. eSoft highlighted that in the case of these search results, the dangerous payloads were only being shown when users clicked through from Google and not when visiting the sites directly.

More recently, on Friday 2 October, Google’s Threat Prevention Team reported that the very popular Fox Sports website had been compromised and was being used to serve up malware to its 6 million monthly visitors. Within a few hours, the identified compromised pages were fixed, but as of Monday 5 October, eSoft’s Threat Prevention Team was still detecting hacked pages being used to serve up viruses to Fox Sports visitors. eSoft has notified Fox Sports of this, but until it is resolved, eSoft has marked the specific compromised machines in the Fox Sports network as “Compromised,” a rating that will cause the site to be blocked for millions of end-users around the world.

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