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Nintendo Switch fans targeted by cybercriminals with fake competitions and emulators

Windows and Mac users are being warned

Aatif Sulleyman
Thursday 30 March 2017 14:00
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Web users should be wary of websites that ask them to fill out a survey to unlock content
Web users should be wary of websites that ask them to fill out a survey to unlock content

Scammers are attempting to trick Nintendo Switch fans into downloading malicious software by falsely promising to provide access to emulators for the console.

Researchers from Norton by Symantec have found that criminals are using a variety of websites and YouTube videos to take advantage of internet users.

Searching “Nintendo Switch emulator” on YouTube brings up a selection of videos, the most popular of which has over 75,000 views at the time of writing.

Some of the clips tell viewers they can play Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on a PC by visiting a website and downloading a file.

Others, which Norton by Symantec believes to have been deliberately designed to be generic so they can be repurposed for other trending search terms, show a person refer to “free tools” but never explicitly mention the Switch emulator.

Users that fall for the scam are being directed to malicious sites promising the Switch and other games consoles as competition prizes. They’re also asking users to fill out a survey to receive an unlock code for a Switch emulator.

Another YouTube video, meanwhile, brings up software downloads for ‘Switch_Emulator_0.6.1.dmg’ on Mac computers and ‘Switch_Emulator_061.iso’ on Windows, which lead to an unwanted application called ‘PUA.OneSystemCare’.

“Whether it’s survey scams or potentially unwanted applications, the YouTube videos and websites are likely driven by affiliate programs,” said Norton by Symantec.

“The affiliate would be responsible for delivering a user to the website to fill out a survey, complete an offer, or download a file. For each successful conversion (a completed survey, offer, or download) the affiliate would collect a commission from the advertising network.

“In this case, it is unclear how much each affiliate is making for each conversion.”

Norton by Symantec says web users should be wary of websites that ask them to fill out a survey to unlock content, and to carry out additional research before installing any computer application.

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