Sign up to our newsletter
The latest security news direct to your inbox
We have discussed SEO poisoning extensively in the ESET Threat Blog, and it should come as no surprise to our readers that any topic which trends up quickly in search engine traffic will be exploited by the criminals who specialize in such activities. The poisoned search term du jour is "erin andrews death threat". Apparently, Ms. Andrews is a newscaster for cable sports television channel ESPN and reality TV show contestant who rose to notoriety last year when she was videotaped by a peeping tom, resulting in a cascade of both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X malware (OSX/Jahlav) passed off as the video. More recently, she has received death threats via e-mail, causing an upsurge in search results.
While we have not seen any malicious code being distributed yet—and the single report we did receive of a malicious site turned out be a false positive generated by a search engine—we did observe that link farms were populating the aforementioned terms in order to receive higher ranking in search engine results, and it likely only a matter of time before malware distribution begins in earnest.
So… what can end-users do to protect themselves? There is nothing special about this spamvertised campaign and the standard techniques that protect you from other web-borne threats apply equally here:
For more information about safe searching and protecting your computer, visit ESET's Security Tips page. Also, be sure to visit Security Our eCity website, a public and private partnership aimed at protecting the public from cybercrime through user education.
Aryeh Goretsky, MVP, ZCSE
Author Aryeh Goretsky, ESET