Ebooks Pose New Threat To Readers

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Whenever a new technology comes out, there will always be people who try to exploit it. Ebooks are no different. I’ve already written about one scam in which people write ebooks with little or no useful content that has been lifted from other sources and sell them on Amazon, Smashwords, etc.

A new scam is emerging involving hyperlinks embedded within ebooks. Hyperlinks are nothing new in ebooks, they can take readers to websites related to the book.

But with this scam, the intent is much more malicious. An article on the MSNBC website gives an example:

In an attempt to buy a wedding-themed e-book for his fiancée, ZDNet’s David Chernicoff said what he really purchased was “a thousand words of vacuous advice and hotlinks to online scams,” including one embedded in a link that tried to charge him a subscription fee every two weeks.

Chernicoff received a refund, and the offending book was removed from the Kindle store, but 23 of the same author’s books — Chernicoff didn’t name him — remained available.

It’s worth mentioning that if you’re using your Kindle (which doesn’t have much of a web browser) you probably have nothing to worry about. But if you’re reading ebooks on your iPhone, iPad, Android Phone, tablet PC or computer, you might find yourself with some nasty malware.

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