SEO poisoning

ZeroAccess? Much too much access…

Why the ZeroAccess rootkit family modifications are important to the end user.

Smartcard vulnerabilities in modern banking malware

Aleksandr Matrosov and Eugene Rodionov presented their research into “Smartcard vulnerabilities in modern banking malware” at PHDays’2012.

Cookie-stuffing click-jackers rip off Victoria's Secret Valentine's giftcard seekers

Thinking of going online to get a Victoria's Secret giftcard for your Valentine? Be careful where you look! Some Google search results are rigged, especially image results. And some innocent-looking links are part of fraudulent activities such as cookie-stuffing and click-jacking. Below is a short video that shows what happens when you click on one

Beware of SOPA Scams

Tomorrow, on January 18, 2012, dozens of popular websites covering a diverse range of subjects will be blacking out their home pages in protest of the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).  Some of these websites are well-known, such as the English language web site for the encyclopedic Wikipedia and quirky news site Boing Boing,

Malware exploits death of North Korea's Kim Jong-il

As expected, malware developers and scam artists have greeted the death of North Korea's dictatorial leader, Kim Jong-il, with Black Hat SEO and Social Engineering attacks. The Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea suffered a heart attack on a train journey last month and a steady stream of schemes to exploit the

A dozen predictions for 2012

While I share the reluctance of my colleagues to predict the future, I think there are some trends that can be classified as “reasonably likely to occur” in 2012. I make no promises, but here’s what I think we will see, in no particular order of importance or certainty. We will see increased interest in

Breaking Dawn, Taylor Swift, Image Search: Poisoning, survey scams on the rise

Manipulating search results for trending topics like "Breaking Dawn" and "Taylor Swift" is a nasty phenomenon that is getting nastier, producing fraudulent and potentially costly results in response to innocent searches. As we described in our Search Poisoning video, the goal of this fraud is to trick people into loading web pages that they would

Gaddafi and Search Poisoning: Think before clicking on search results

Scam artists and cyber-criminals welcomed today's news of the demise of Libyan leader Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi (often referred to as simply Gaddafi or Gadhafi). Why? Because few events fuel Internet search activity as much as the death of a famous–or infamous–person, although celebrity weddings and divorces are also a big search driver. It's a

A little light relief

Recently I've been collecting examples of comment spam. Essentially, this is for a research project that is somewhere fairly low on my to-do list. However, it does have a more positive aspect: whenever I feel at a loss for words and losing faith in my own wordsmithing ability, I scroll down to see what nice

Malware De-Cloaked

… people have been asking me about Google’s interesting paper on Trends in Circumventing Web-Malware Detection…

Osama bin Laden is alive and well… on Facebook

The death of Osama bin Laden has gone viral, with blogs, social media and search engines pumping terabytes of rumor, innuendo and conspiracy theories at the speed of light, along with the occasional kilobyte of truth.  As the number of people searching for pictures and videos of bin Laden’s execution has skyrocketed, the criminal syndicates

Global malware thrives on the demise of a global terrorist

[NOTE:  As we were publishing this articl, our Latin American office discovered another Black Hat SEO campaign incorporating promises of Osama bin Laden videos on Facebook.  Click here to view their article in Spanish. We will follow up on this shortly.  AG] The malware phenomenon started by the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death continues

Osama Bin Laden Video Malware

The bad guys know you far too well. They know that all they have to do is say they have video footage of Bin Laden and many people will mindlessly click. As is always the case with any big news headlines, there are fake videos being posted with the intent of infecting your computer and

I take you, XPAntiSpyware, to be my…

One of the most common ways to propagate malware through social engineering is to piggyback it on some attention-catching news event. This can be carried out using a variety of techniques and is certainly nothing new. One infamous example from 2007 was Win32/Nuwar (a/k/a the Storm Worm), which distributed through spam emails with current and/or

Disaster Scams and Resources

I've added some commentary and resources on the Japan earthquake/tsunami disasters to an independent blog I maintain that specializes in hoaxes, scams and so forth, but here are a few of the same resources that aren't already included in my recent blogs here on the topic: Analysis from Kimberley at stopmalvertising.com: http://stopmalvertising.com/blackhat-seo/recent-japanese-earthquake-search-results-lead-to-fakeav.html Guy Bruneau at Internet

Japanese Earthquake: inevitable SEO

As you'd expect, there have already been reports of Black Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization) being used to lure people looking for news of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami onto sites pushing fake AV. (Stop me if you've heard this before…) My colleague Urban Schrott, however, offered some pretty good advice on what to look out

Imitation is not always the sincerest form of flattery

Since its release in 2007, ESET Smart Security has received many accolades for its antimalware, antispam and firewall functions.  However, we have recently been the recipient of a very dubious honor; a rogue antivirus program which masquerades as our own software. The Rogues Gallery Rogue antivirus is a loose family of programs that claim to

Blackhat SEO uses online games to distribute malware

Here's another post from our colleagues in Spain (http://www.eset.es): mistakes in interpretation are down to me (David Harley). We have frequently talked about and shown examples of threats that take advantage of Black-Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This technique (BHSEO) is used by malware authors to position the malicious links in the top results when a potential

McAfee FP news misused for more SEO poisoning

We're now seeing a fiercely concentrated Blackhat SEO campaigns exploiting the McAfee False Positive (FP) problem. Juraj Malcho, our Head of Lab in Bratislava, reports that in a Google search like the one I've screendumped above, he got three malicious hits in the top ten (the same ones captured here: of course, the malicious domain

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