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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:39 AM
Original message

Those using Google, Yahoo! and other search engines face a new danger according to the folks at Sunbelt Software: seeded search results that will redirect the user to sites rigged with malware.

The Sunbelt blog describes tens of thousands of individual pages its researchers found that have been meticulously created with the goal of obtaining high search engine ranking. Just about any search term you can think of can be found in these pages, wrote Sunbelt researcher Adam Thomas.

. . .

With Scam.Iwin, the victims computer is used to generate income for the attacker in a pay-per-click affiliate program by transmitting false clicks to the attackers URLs without the users knowledge, Thomas said. The infected Scam.Iwin files are not ordinarily visible to the user. The files are executed and run silently in the background when the user starts the computer and/or connects to the Internet.

Scam.Iwin is also used to load malware for other groups, he noted. One such group is associated with the notorious RBN (Russia Business Network).

Read more:

Note: this seems to have hit critical mass this week, with tons of incidents being reported.
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. Answer this question for me
What do you mean by pay per click. If I go to a site, and click on to an ad or what. If I go to the site and click on to a subject is that the same. I want to know the difference to be prepared.
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dlfuller Donating Member (81 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. pay per click
Typically pay per click relates to:

Ads on a website, that when you select (click) them, provide revenue to the web site's owner for the referral, from the ad's sponsor or owner.

This could also be used as well when you simply view a web page that has ads already displayed, the web site could log page views and report them as views (traffic) for revenue.

If you use Firefox with NoScript and Adblock plugins active you will defeat most ads or redirects.

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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. This report is a bit better:
A large-scale, coordinated campaign to steer users toward malware-spewing Web sites from Google search results is under way, security researchers said Tuesday.

Users searching Google with any of hundreds of legitimate phrases -- from the technical "how to cisco router vpn dial in" to the heart-tugging "how to teach a dog to play fetch" -- will see links near the top of the results listings that lead directly to malicious sites hosting a mountain of malware. "This is huge," said Alex Eckelberry, Sunbelt Software's CEO. "So far we've found 27 different domains, each with up to 1,499 pages. That's 40,000 possible pages."

Those pages have had their Google ranking boosted by crooked tactics that include "comment spam" and "blog spam," where bots inundate the comment areas of sites with links or mass large numbers of them as bogus blog posts. Attackers may be using bots to plug links into any Web form that requests a URL, added Sunbelt malware researcher Adam Thomas.

There's no evidence that the criminals bought Google search keywords, however, nor that they've compromised legitimate sites. Instead, they've gamed Google's ranking system and registered their own sites.

"They get themselves on to Google, then redirect people to their malware pages," said Eckelberry. Most users wouldn't suspect anything's amiss with the rogue results, although the ultra-wary might be suspicious because many of the malicious URLs are just a jumble of characters, with China's .cn top-level domain at their ends.

. . .
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. which OS does this affect?
...running Linux (Kubuntu) here...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Sounds like the malware would be WIndoze, but there are no guarantees.
The web part would not be OS specific. The rec above for Firefox+NoScript+Adblocking is a good one.
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