Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Automated SEO Poisoning Attacks Explained

Executive Summary

This paper describes recent research by SophosLabs into how attackers are using blackhat Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques to stuff legitimate websites with content designed to rank highly in search engine results, yet redirect users to malicious sites. These websites are being used to distribute rogue security products (also known as “scareware” or “fake anti­virus”) onto users' computers.

Sophos researchers have analysed the malicious SEO kits used by hackers to create networks of thousands of cross­linked pages containing search­ friendly content on hot­trending topics, hosted on compromised, legitimate websites.

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