Popular news events being exploited to serve malware

According to investigators on Internet security at PandaLabs the security firm, there is hardly any popular news subject, which cyber-criminals aren't using to boost malevolent Internet links and websites.

Taking the cue from the proverb "no news is good news" to give a more concise saying in the perspective of Internet safety and in the prevailing conditions probably is "no good news goes unpunished," state the investigators.

Also says Sean-Paul Correll a security researcher at Panda via his blog post dated September 10, 2009 that every ongoing pertinent news topic becomes an active target of cyber-criminals every day just as President Obama's extremely publicized speeches were targeted recently. InformationWeek reported this on September 11, 2009.

By 'active target,' Correll is talking about "Blackhat SEO (search engine optimization)," that malicious website operators use to raise the ranks of search engine results higher up by using popular search terms and links that breach search engine directives.

According to him, SEO is primarily certain techniques that manipulate the search mechanism to expose more and more people to malevolent web-links.

Moreover, cyber-criminals also targeted an extremely anticipated novel by Dan Brown, however, the scope and target was far deeper. Virtually each ongoing pertinent news subject gets exploited every day.

Thus, the use of search engines for Internet browsing today is a risky attempt. Says PandaLabs that during February-August 2009, it nearly traced the way Blackhat SEO attacks evolved as also researchers have observed cyber-criminals execute these targeted attacks with more and more sophistication and speed.

Furthermore, Dancho Danchev a security researcher posts on his blog that the SEO attacks exploiting current news topics has been into existence ever since April 2009.

State security researchers, Blackhat SEO is virtually cyber-criminals' mainstream tactic today, with the miscreants' exploitation of real-time news topics posing a severe threat equally to search engines and everyone involved in lessening malicious software. And while a shift is encouraged towards the use of "real-time web," it is important that the security industry as well recognizes the importance of real-time safeguards from malicious programs, a point that necessarily emphasizes the urgency towards employing cloud-based anti-virus know-how.

Related article: Popular Firefox Inching Towards Malware’s Target

» SPAMfighter News - 03-10-2009

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