With adults wising up to the dangers of clicking unknown links, spammers are increasingly targeting children.
Anti-virus firm Avast says it’s identified more than 60 individual sites during the last month containing ‘game’ or ‘arcade’ in their URL address, all aimed squarely at children.
The most visited site was cutearcade.com, a collection of online games with dressing up and coloring games – and even Hello Kitty.
Avast says its users have reported an infection at this site over 12,600 times. The malicious Trojan redirects viewers to linuxstabs.com, a known distribution point for malware.
The second most popular site was Hiddenninjagames.com, a collection of flash games that contains an exploit kit sending visitors to astrofiber.co.be.
Other infected gaming sites include Territoriogamers.com, 1st-kidsgames.com, Gamesbox.com, jeux.com and coolespiele.com.
“Games like these require clicking, and children don’t think much about what they are clicking on,” says Ondrej Vlcek, CTO of AVAST Software.
“This makes them – or their parents’ computer – quite susceptible to malware.”
Most of the infected sites look legitimate, although some may have been created specifically to distribute malware. They contain a ‘grab bag’ of Java script infections, redirectors, and potentially unwanted programs, says Avast.
As any parent can tell you, children are inveterate browsers, increasing their chances of picking up malware.
“If there is something dangerous, a child will find it,” says Vleck. “But moving between sites is normal behavior for most people – regardless of age.”