03 Nov 2010

Election-related search terms targeted by blackhat SEO

Cyber criminals are targeting election-related search terms with a blackhat SEO scheme, reports the Tech Herald. Users looking for election results on search engines might infect their computers with malware if they aren’t careful.

Blackhat SEO attacks are malware threats spread by using popular search terms to lure infected websites. While most of the election-related threats have been flagged by Google, new domains have been taking their place, making election searches risky.

An internet security vendor recently posted a warning that several search results with keywords such as “election results 2010,” “midterm election results,” “election polls,” “midterm election polls 2010,” were yielding infected links as results. Additionally, related terms such as “AARP,” “Virginia Governor,” and “New Jersey Governor” were also posing risks.

According to the Tech Herald, the infected sites scrape results off other domains to create a dynamic list of very common search terms. As a result, the user might click the infected links, thinking they have found a site that contains all their desired search results. Some of the infected links attack the user immediately, while others contain malware embedded within links and in the site’s comments sections.

Another recent blackhat SEO attack targeted Halloween-related searches. The attack specifically targeted users searching for horror movie titles such as “Paranormal Activity 2” and “Friday the 13th.”