01
March
2010
|
09:08 AM
America/Los_Angeles

Disasters Are A Boon To Malware...

Whenever there is a disaster people rush to the Internet to find the latest news. But that can sometimes lead them into trouble because malware distributors will quickly put up web pages related to that disaster, but containing malicious code.

Those web pages are designed using search engine optimization techniques to be quickly added to search engine indexes related to the specific disaster. Google, and other search engines, try to spot dodgy web pages and flag them but they can't flag them all.

The recent earthquake in Chile is a good example of how malware distributors can add victims. Chester Wisniewski writes: Tsunami blackhat SEO begins

His search for "live Tsunami coverage" uncovered a link to a website infected with code that directs a user's browser to a site with malicious code on it. It was number 2 on his search results.

It's an example of how search engine optimization can be used for "black hat" purposes. And how malware distributors get a new batch of victims every time a disaster claims its victims.

Chester Wisniewski offers this advice:

When you search for breaking news, be aware that attackers often publish links faster than the legitimate media. Get in the habit of using Yahoo! News, Google News, or another trusted service. Only news published by trusted media sources are aggregated onto these services, unlike a regular search using your favorite search engine.