[ISN] Searching For News Is Riskier Than Searching For Porn, Study Says

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2010 02:27:35 -0600 (CST)

By Tim Wilson
Nov 11, 2010 

Which search is more likely to yield malware: a child's research for a 
school current events project or a male's search for nude photos of 
Paris Hilton? The answer may surprise you.

According to the newly-published Websense 2010 Threat Report, a Web 
search that seeks breaking trends and current news may lead to poisoned 
or infected websites 22.4 percent of the time. Searching for 
objectionable content results in such poisoning only 21.8 percent of the 

"'Searchers beware!' could have been the new motto [in 2010], as hackers 
spent a lot of time compromising legitimate websites," the report says. 
"News headlines and entertainment buzz continued to be a choice target 
for SEO [search engine optimization] attacks. Rogue antivirus combined 
with SEO poisoning was a commonly used technique.

"Malware authors focused on entertainment buzz and breaking news," the 
report continues. "The earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, Corey Haim’s 
death, and the World Cup of Soccer were just a few examples of cleverly 
manipulated search engine results steering people to bogus links that 
rated higher than legitimate results. Similar to what we found in 2009, 
the botnets behind these campaigns are being repurposed once the 
illegitimate campaign has been removed from the search engine results."


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Received on Fri Nov 12 2010 - 00:27:35 PST

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