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Hackers Poison Google Search Results

As per the security firm, search engine results infested with links to bogus antivirus software have been a continuous problem for Internet users.

Symantec has kept a track on search results constantly and gave statistics of the top search trends every hour. The company also determined the number of malicious search results within the first 70 Google search results. The study revealed that hackers had a vested interest in this activity to ensure that their attacks were effective in poisoning Google results.

The security company has given the reason that speed of indexing and Google's breadth are the big problems. Thanks to the large market of Google in the Internet search engine business, hackers give preference to make their attacks effective in poisoning Google results. Besides, it is a lucrative way for hackers to infect users' machines.

It was revealed that between March and April 2010, three of the top ten search trends on an average at any given hour contained around one malicious links in the first 70 results.

Apart from this, the poisoned search terms were found in 68% of links that lead to malicious pages in the initial 70 results. All the malicious URLs take users to bogus antivirus page.

Commenting on the issue, the security company said that it was apparent that attackers succeeded in poisoning search results. They had an automated infrastructure that helped in the automatic collection of the latest search trends and poison the results.

This is not the first time when Google search results have been positioned at such a high rate. In November 2009, Cyveillance (a security company) discovered a complicated attack vector that used Google search results to spread malware on the computers of unsuspecting users. Users unknowingly clicked on the Google search results and were taken to the websites, which attempted to install malware on their systems.

Hence, Symantec has advised computer users that they should be careful while clicking on search results links particularly when they search for hot topics.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

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