[ISN] All the news that's fit to exploit -- Google Trends

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 01:19:25 -0500 (CDT)

By Elinor Mills
October 2, 2008

Caution: Web sites about the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team and the U.S. 
vice presidential debate may cause serious harm to your computer.

Cybercriminals who want to steal data and take control of computers are 
doing so by luring victims to sites with hidden malware. But how do they 
attract unsuspecting victims?

The answer: Google Trends [1].

This makes a lot of sense. Google Trends lists the most frequently 
searched topics, displays them on a graph, and shows news articles and 
blog posts that relate to that topic. (Google has trend-type tools for 
Web site owners and advertisers, too.)

So, a would-be cybercriminal could see what's hot on Google Trends; add 
related news headlines, stories, and video to a malicious Web site to 
increase the site's ranking on Google's search site; and wait for the 
traffic to arrive. And it's happening now, according to a threat 
advisory [2] issued by security company Webroot.

But not all of the hot searches are going to be able to be automatically 
translated into buzzworthy sites. For instance, the top search on 
Thursday was "london telegraph," followed by "tampa bay rays;" "palin 
bingo" (game containing buzzwords related to Republican vice 
presidential candidate Sarah Palin); "evan longoria" (Tampa Bay Ray 
third baseman); and "vice presidential debate time" (happening on 
Thursday night at 6 p.m. PDT, which I myself had also searched for).

[1] http://www.google.com/trends
[2] http://www.webroot.com/En_US/about-press-room-press-releases-hackers-using-real-headlines.html


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Received on Sun Oct 05 2008 - 23:19:25 PDT

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