Don’t Let the Harlem Shake Rock Your Network

Sue Marquette Poremba

I don’t get the whole Harlem Shake craze, especially the part where the dancers are dressed in costumes. However, no matter what I think, it seems like everybody (but me) has either put together their own Harlem Shake video or is watching Harlem Shake videos. And of course, many of those videos are watched or perhaps uploaded at work. That can cause serious bandwidth issues, as David Attard, product manager at GFI, pointed out.

These videos are also a security issue.

We know that anything popular – whether a person or an event – is like candy to a bad guy. They prey on the public’s desire to watch videos or visit websites by embedding malware into a site that otherwise appears normal and safe. And that’s exactly why viral Harlem Shake videos are a serious security risk – you have no idea what is or isn’t safe because there are so many and they are so outrageous. Too many people will be more interested to see if this latest video is better or worse than their own or their favorite version, and won’t be thinking about security.


This is no time to have a security let-down either, not when it seems like every other day brings a new major security breach story. How do many of those breaches happen? Too often, someone clicks on a malicious link. They think something is legitimate and don’t think twice about what they are doing.

With March Madness just a couple of weeks away, the warnings about (malicious) fake sites – not to mention bandwidth concerns – will start hitting my mailbox and any number of security-related PSAs. The warnings come like clockwork because people still make the same mistakes and the bad guys keep improving their tricks. I’m sure many security personnel have the warning email sent or ready to be sent regarding the potential risks that come with March Madness interest.

This Harlem Shake craze should serve as a reminder that we shouldn’t just be sending out alerts during March Madness or before the Olympics or the Super Bowl. If it is viral, the bad guys are looking for a way to exploit it.



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