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Security researchers scrutinise search engine poisonings

http://www.theregister.co.uk

The techniques used by unloveable rogues who automate search engine manipulation attacks themed around breaking news to sling scareware have been unpicked by new research from Sophos. A research paper published on Wednesday by Sophos researchers Fraser Howard and Onur Komili lifts the lid on the search engine optimisation techniques used by hackers to hook surfers into their scams. Attackers use automated kits to apply blackhat SEO methods – cynically exploiting tragic or salacious breaking news stories – to subvert searches in order to point surfers towards scareware download portals or other scams. The deaths of celebrities such as Michael Jackson, the release of Google Wave and the marital strife of Sandra Bullock are among the topics which have been used as themes for these attacks in the past. Just about any high-profile breaking news story is fodder for the crooks, so it came as little surprise that the deaths of 39 people in the Moscow metro suicide bombings on Monday have also become themes for the latest run of black-hat SEO techniques. Cybercrooks behind the scams don't simply sit watching Google Trends or trending topics on Twitter, however.

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Security researchers scrutinise search engine poisonings celebrities stalker