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Massive Badware Campaign Targets Google’s "Long Tail"

November 27th, 2009 11:50 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

A post by Cyberveillance a couple of weeks back revealed a complex black-hat operation involving Google searches leading to hundreds of thousands of bogus blogs, exploiting the “long tail” of search results and isolated from Google’s auto-detection of malware sites by a shifting network of redirectors. The fake blog posts are innocuous when visited directly, but make aggressive attempts to install a fake Windows anti-virus tool (which is actually a Trojan horse) if clicked through from Google. Other search engines do not index the bogus sites. The Unmask Parasites site has a detailed two-part analysis of the badware operation, which puts some numbers on its scope: almost 688,000 bogus scareware blogs can be located in Google; some of them have upwards of 1000 posts. This analysis also reveals that a large majority of the sites hacked to host fake blogs are on the network of Servage.net. From the second Unmask Parasites link: “What we have here is millions of rogue web pages targeting the long tail of web search (millions of keywords) where each page tries to install fake (and malicious) “anti-virus” software on visitors’ computers. While this black-hat campaign is active for at least 6 months, webmasters of the compromised sites and their hosting providers don’t simply notice this illicit activity. The good news is Google seems to have noticed this problem. Probably thanks to the Cyveillance blog post. During the week after that post I see a steady decrease in search results returned by the queries that you can find in this post.”

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