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Rogue Malware Distributed Through SEO Campaign Targeting Ford Motors

PandaLabs, a security vendor, warns that a new malevolent 'Search Engine Optimization' campaign has been found to attack the Ford Motor Company.

PandaLabs states that it has found more than 1 Million web-links that take users to fake antivirus websites each relating to search terms used for the word "Ford".

These 'Ford'-based keywords point to a video, a popular method used by criminals to spread infection. In this method, the user is suggested that he needs to download a codec in order to view the video. But as soon as the codec is downloaded, the user receives a series of malware alerts from Microsoft Anti-spyware 2009.

Sean Correll, Threat Researcher, PandaLabs, state that this incidence marks an interesting point as it is among the rare SEO assaults that have been observed targeting only one particular brand, as reported by The Tech Herald on April 14, 2009.

In the meantime, Luis Corrons, Technical Director, PandaLabs, added that the malicious codes were written to yield revenue for their authors by deceiving users to buy bogus antivirus applications by credit cards. According to him, the victims were not only asked to pay for the bogus item, but also deceived into revealing personal financial details to the online fraudsters, as reported by PRNewsWire on April 14, 2009.

PandaLabs states that the above kinds of rogue anti-malware grew considerably in 2008. According to the agency, the total number of phony anti-viruses has grown hundred times from Q1 2008 to Q1 2009. Further, during January-March 2009, at least 111,086 new variants of phony anti-viruses were identified that was 20% more than that of the entire 2008.

Moreover, PandaLabs states that these rogue programs can best be avoided if users ensure for up-to-date Adobe Shockwave and Flash along with other video players obtained from browsers. Furthermore, according to the agency, if users obtain the updates from no other source except the websites of the vendors, the possibilities of getting infection from the false codec are significantly minimized.

Meanwhile, Ford stated that it knew about the presence of the malevolent scam.

Related article: RSA Attendees Responsible for Wireless Vulnerability

» SPAMfighter News - 4/22/2009

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