Black-hat SEO

Hurricane Sandy could cause big mess in cyber space too

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With Hurricane Sandy on a collision course with the Northeast, cyber crooks are likely to take advantage of the historic storm to make a quick buck or steal personal information from the unsuspecting.

Google issues millions of search, download alerts daily

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As part of its services, Google sees thousands of new, malicious websites each day, and delivers warnings of poisoned search results and dangerous downloads to millions of users.

Spam wanes, while web attacks surge

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Malware delivered through spam may be taking a backseat to trojans delivered via social networking sites and web searches, according to a report from Barracuda Networks.

New Google service identifies hacked sites

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Google has launched a new service that notifies web surfers in search results if a website they may visit has been compromised.

Firefox plug-in released to battle SEO scams

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Web security firm Zscaler has released a free Firefox add-on designed to protect users against black hat search engine optimization (SEO), a tactic cybercriminals use to get their malicious links to appear at or near the top of search results. The add-on works by changing the referrer string of a visitor so that a malicious site is unable to tell if the user surfed in via a search engine, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo, the company said in a blog post Friday. Typically SEO sites direct users to malicious pages, such as fake anti-virus sites, if they detect a search referral URL. — DK

Google says 11,000 domains distributing rogue anti-virus

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An upcoming report from Google details the persistent threat posed by fake anti-virus software, which currently accounts for 15 percent of all web-based malware.

Crooks try to romance users with Valentine's Day spam

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Spammers are on the Valentine's Day prowl already, and more ploys are expected, researchers at Trend Micro said Monday.

Haiti quake searches poisoned to hawk fake AV

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Cybercriminals have launched a black hat search engine optimization (SEO) campaign to exploit the earthquake in Haiti, according to security researchers at anti-virus company Panda Security. Searches for "Haiti earthquake donate" or "Haiti earthquake donation" yield malicious links leading to rogue anti-virus products, Luis Corrons, lead researcher at PandaLabs, said in a blog post Wednesday. SEO campaigns are common: Two ongoing ones are leveraging the movie "Avatar" and Google's new Nexus One smartphone. — AM

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