Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Rogue Antivirus Lurks Behind Google Doodle Searches
It's the latest example of just how good scammers have become at manipulating Google search results. For months now, they've followed Google's Trending Topics section and then used search engine optimization techniques to push hacked Web pages up to the top of Google's search results, security experts say.
They do this by flooding hacked pages with keywords that are then recorded by Google's search engine.
Hackers have several ways of getting their code on legitimate Web sites -- lately they've focused on stealing FTP login credentials, according to Dave Michmerhuizen, a research scientist with Barracuda Labs.
The hacked sites that pop up when one clicks on Tuesday's Google Doodle include a hair salon in New Jersey, an Texas tree company, and a science fiction group.
On Tuesday, clicking on the illustration on Google's front page commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Esperanto's creator L. L. Zamenhof, generated an awful lot of malicious search results -- taking visitors to dodgy advertisements or pages that tried to trick visitors into thinking their computers were infected and paying for fake antivirus software. pcworld