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Attacking Curiosity

Poisoning search terms with infected links is a new favorite hacker trick. Make sure your business doesn't fall prey.

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This story appears in the October 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Tool: Norton Safe Web Lite

Company: Symantec

safeweb.norton.com/lite



Tool: SiteAdvisor

Company: McAfee

siteadvisor.com



Tool: SecureBrowsing

Company: Finjan

securebrowsing.finjan.com
SEO Poisoning on the Rise
• At any given hour, three of the top 10 search trends contain at least one malicious URL within the first 70 results.



• For "poisoned" search terms,15 links of the first 70 results typically are malicious.



• On any given day, 7.3 percent of links in the first 70 results for top search terms are malicious.



Source: Symantec

Even as most savvy business owners begin to grasp the significance that search engine optimization, or SEO, can play on their sites' popularity and click-through rates, so, too, are the denizens of the seamy underside of the cyberworld. High-tech security researchers warn that the bad guys are taking advantage of SEO to boost the page rankings of infected sites and spread malware for their financial gain.

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