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@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Gregor Petri

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Wanted: The Data Snatcher -- Generous Reward Offered

The Data Snatchers Are Out There and If You Find One You Can Win £1,000 Worth of Gadgets, Including a Netbook, Flip Video Recorders and More

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS -- (Marketwire) -- 09/18/09 -- AVG is highlighting the dangers of new cyber criminals, called Data Snatchers, to UK consumers through an awareness campaign that starts in London's Oxford Circus this weekend. Data Snatchers are organised criminals, out to steal personal data and endanger your Facebook privacy.

The Data Snatchers post bogus pages behind links on genuine websites, which are virtually impossible to spot, and then wait for the information to come to them. As many as one in eight web-users will unknowingly come across a poisoned page once a month. This could lead to loss of money or financial and security details. One of the only ways to protect yourself from the Data Snatchers is with LinkScanner, a free AVG download.

Helping the public to understand this new online threat, AVG has set loose a number of actors dressed as Data Snatchers and is offering prizes, including Flip video recorders and netbooks, to people who spot them and get a photo or video to use as evidence.

To catch the Data Snatchers in the act, visit your local shopping centre on one of the dates listed below and look for the AVG Security Guard. You can guarantee the Data Snatcher will be lurking somewhere nearby, and your mission is to photograph them and present the evidence to the Security Guard.

The Data Snatchers will be in action at the following locations:

London -- 19th and 20th September

Manchester -- 3rd and 4th October

Leeds -- 17th and 18th October

Cardiff -- 31st October and 1st November

Glasgow -- 14th and 15th November

Nottingham -- 28th and 29th November

We will be posting more detailed information about the whereabouts of the Data Snatchers over the coming weeks, so be sure to follow their movements via AVG's Twitter stream at

Anyone who catches the Data Snatcher in action will have the chance to win £1,000 of the latest gadgets and a netbook, so you can put your surveillance skills to use wherever and whenever you like. The best of the photos and videos will be uploaded to the official Data Snatcher Facebook Fanpage: To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is comment on your photo and video when it is uploaded to the fanpage. Runners' up prizes include Flip video recorders and AVG t-shirts.

"For many people, the Data Snatchers are difficult to picture," said Mike Foreman, Managing Director, AVG UK. "The idea behind these events is to make the threat of the Data Snatcher more tangible. They are genuinely dangerous to people online, and consumers need to be informed about how to best protect themselves and their security information. One of the easiest ways to do this is download AVG's free LinkScanner software, which provides real-time protection with every click."

The Data Snatchers circumnavigate traditional anti-virus software. Because they sit behind individual web pages for short amounts of time, standard software cannot identify them. This is why AVG has made LinkScanner available as a free download, which scans individual internet links to catch the Data Snatchers red-handed.

Data Snatchers range from malicious hackers looking for entertainment, to opportunistic cyber criminals looking for huge profits. Whatever their motivation, Data Snatchers all have one thing in common; a total disregard for the people they target.

For more information on the complete range of AVG security products for consumers and small businesses, please visit

Keep in touch with AVG

For security news analysis, subscribe to AVG Chief Research Officer Roger Thompson's blog

For breaking news, follow AVG on Twitter

For general AVG updates, register at the official site

For the latest protection against the Data Snatchers, download the free AVG LinkScanner tool

About AVG Technologies

AVG is a global security solutions leader protecting more than 80 million consumers and small business computer users in 167 countries from the ever-growing incidence of web threats, viruses, spam, cyber-scams, and hackers. Headquartered in Amsterdam, AVG has nearly two decades of experience in combating cybercrime and one of the most advanced laboratories for detecting, pre-empting and combating web-borne threats around the world. Its free online, downloadable software model allows entry-level users to gain basic protection and then to easily and inexpensively upgrade to greater levels of safety and security in both single and multi-user environments as their needs change and grow. Nearly 6,000 resellers, partners and distributors team with AVG globally including, CNET, Cisco, Ingram Micro,, Wal-Mart, and Yahoo!.

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