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Drugs and Dating Site Spam Ads Hijack Google News


Legitimate news websites that are listed on the Google News are hacked, replacing the articles with the spam ads for dating and drugs site.


Spam injection has taken place on 12th June (Monday), and has affected all the users of Health section on news.google.com. Search results of article are edited as well as replaced with the headlines of selling Viagra along with other drugs on websites of Canadian pharmacy, and also posts that are advertising free events of speed-dating for the Jewish people in the Los Angeles.


Search results are basically replaced with different ads looking to sell Viagra and various other drugs along with online sites of dating for those who did not see the spam injection. Though Google News usually exclusively lists latest articles from its vetted news sources catalog, it looks as if only headlines of the news pieces are replaced and not sources themselves. Digitaltrends.com posted on June 13th, 2017, stating that headlines, thumbnail images and previews of article are all edited for looking like spam, but the media channels themselves seemed genuine.


Search Engine Land, news site of search marketing, has spotted listings of hijacked news story and then reported the matter to the Google; and was informed later that "the issue was on the publisher side" and article listings were fixed.


However, this incident has raised many questions - surely, it is quite possible that each and every news source listed websites might have been hijacked for sending spam results to the Google, although the websites do not have any connection or similarities with each other.


The spam-related entries have been removed after less than 24 hours but the irrelevant topic "Las Vegas" remained. Google maintains that no news is selected by human editors and its procedures are designed to sneak websites and select news based on its freshness, diversity, originality and whether it has rich textual content.


Palate Press has confirmed to IBTimes UK that it was hacked on 10th June (Sat.), and mischievous links were transmitting from its website. IBTimes UK has contacted Google to confirm how it prevents such spam injections and will update after receiving a response. We have reached Google to get more information, and also will inform you as and when come to know more.

» SPAMfighter News - 6/19/2017

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