Feeling Lucky? Don't Tell Google

Logo GoogleSpammers have found a way to turn Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button into a switch that could end your sense of good fortune. Search engine spammers have ramped up their efforts to ensnare the unwary, according to a report released Wednesday by MessageLabs, a messaging security company.

Search engine spam accounted for 17% of spam in January. During this period, spam from previously unknown bad sources accounted 73.4% of e-mail, or 81.1% of e-mail if about 7.6% of messages from known spam sources were included.

MessageLabs chief security analyst Mark Sunner said that search engine spam is rising but could not immediately provide historical data for comparison. Search engine spam, not to be confused with Web spam, is similar to a phishing message in that it begins with a Web link in an e-mail message.

Unlike phishing links, search engine spam can take advantage of special parameters found only in search query URLs. Google, for example, supports the BtnI parameter. This is associated with the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, which sends the person clicking on the button directly to the Web site associated with the top search result for the given query, without first loading the standard Google search results page.

By using this parameter, a spammer can construct a URL that looks like it points to Google, but will take anyone clicking on it one step further, to the top-ranked site for the query. If a spammer has not managed to manipulate Google to present his or her site as top result for the query, adding the inURL parameter accomplishes the same result. This parameter restricts the search spam query to a single site, which guarantees the top result, the one to which the searcher is automatically and unluckily redirected, is the spammer's malicious site.

"Google works hard to preserve the quality of our index," a Google spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement. "We actively identify sites that serve malware or abuse our quality guidelines in other ways. Sites that exploit browser security holes to install software (such as malware, spyware, viruses, adware, and Trojan horses) are in violation of our quality guidelines and may be removed from Google's index. The same is true for spam. We regularly remove spammers from our index."

Last November, Google removed tens of thousands of malicious Web pages from its index. The company will almost certainly continue to do so periodically for the foreseeable future. It's likely that Google will eventually curb such abuse; other companies like eBay have already taken steps to prevent similar URL redirection tricks.

Sunner of MessageLabs also noted a rapid rise in the number of targeted phishing attacks. Many of these, he said, are directed at C-titled executives. In 2005, MessageLabs detected two attacks per week involving targeted Trojans out of 1.5 billion messages. In 2006, it found one such attack per day out of 180 million messages. In May 2007, it saw 10 targeted attacks per day out of 250 million messages. In November 2007, it was seeing 924 targeted attacks every five hours.

Source: Yahoo

Tags: Google

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
Consumer group recommends iPhone 8 over anniversary model
 
LTE connections wherever you go and instant waking should come to regular PCs, too
 
That fiction is slowly becoming a reality
 
The Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC includes the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem
 
Human moderators can help make YouTube a safer place for everyone
 
Google says Progressive Web Apps are the future of app-like webpages
 
All 2018 models to sport the 'notch'
 
The biggest exchange in South Korea, where the BTC/KRW pair is at $14,700 now
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (4)