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Cyber-criminals Continuing Assaults on Top Search Terms

A March 9, 2010 dated announcement by SonicWALL a firm that deals with secure network infrastructure, states that cyber attackers are still targeting the most popular search terms on Google. During the seven days (March 1-7, 2010), over 6,600 malicious URLs attacked over 284 popular search items. SonicWALL's threat research team says that out of 20 search phrases, at the most 9 faces a threat at any given period.

The security firm outlines that while attacking search terms, cyber-criminals exploit breaking news stories. The scheme usually takes Web-surfers onto sites that thrust fake anti-virus software on their computers.

To cite instances, SonicWall stated that searching for Elinor Burkett, film producer, during the 24-hour time-period covering March 8-9, 2010, resulted in 40 distinct malevolent URLs amongst the first 30 search results in Google. Similarly, searching for 'The New Tenants' an Oscar-winning movie, on March 8, 2010, resulted in 56 distinct malevolent URLs amongst the first 30 results in Google, according to a statement published by Securitywatch.eweek.com on March 9, 2010.

In fact, the threat team of SonicWALL has spotted some search phrases, which have produced the maximum number of malevolent websites.

Deepen Desai, Lead malware Researcher of SonicWALL, said that cyber-criminals utilize anything available to them for spreading malware. In the current case, attacks have been launched on Google's most popular search phrases, related to the day's breaking news stories, as per the statement published by EWeek.com on March 9, 2010.

Desai added that the criminals chase the popular search terms, and with their knowledge, inject malware-ridden websites into the search engine nearly instantly when Web-surfers indicate curiosity about any news item.

Thus, SonicWALL recommends certain tips for users to follow while doing a Web search for any piece of news. Users must be careful while clicking on Web-links that appear within the search engine results. In case the URL clicked turns out a malevolent site, they must try to exit from it at their fastest. Moreover, these infected websites often prompt to download security software executable or video codecs. So, these must be avoided. And finally, users must ensure that they have up-to-date anti-virus on their systems.

Related article: Cyber Child abuser Sentenced To Imprisonment

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