Bin Laden’s death used to propagate black hat SEO sites
Written by: DAMG
As the nation rejoices over the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, unethical black hat SEO practitioners are taking this time to exploit the internet and plague websites with various malware and spam.
News regarding Bin Laden’s death is circulating as fast as the speed of light across the internet. Unfortunately, what a web surfer may assume is just a news site may just be a black hat SEO lair.
Online criminals love it when breaking news becomes available, especially something of such magnitude as the death of America’s number one most wanted terrorist. Black hat SEO practitioners will overload their sites with optimum key words in order to lure unsuspecting web surfers and then trap them with their schemes.
Unfortunately, the spammers are becoming more and more adept to changing their strategies and anticipating a counter attack from search engines or white hat SEO providers.
“Recently, we saw that the Rogues either anticipated, or at least reacted, with remarkable agility to Audubon’s birthday. They were either really quick, or they watched what Google did on the same day last year,” said Roger Thompson, vice president of AVG’s web threat research team. “It’ll be instructive to see how long this event takes. We will bate our collective breath.”
After just a few short hours following President Obama’s announcement of Bin Laden’s death, spammers were hard at work at unleashing the first wave of malware blasts.
“Any time there’s breaking news we start monitoring, and Twitter is generally what we leverage since it’s so much more real-time than search engines,” explained Thompson.
Black hat SEO practitioners don’t just include random content, they try to make their sites look as realistic as possible, posting pictures and graphics related to whatever event is happening.
One malware site that was discovered right away included a photoshopped picture of Bin Laden which requests a VLC code when browsers click on it.
Facebook is also being targeted as well. Researchers found a black hat SEO message board from a scammer that claimed to have great success with a malware Osama site.
The individual suggested setting up a fan site in celebration of the terrorist’s death which has a “Like” button that web surfers can click on.
Once web surfers click on a link or an advertisement on a black hat SEO site, they will either instantly download a virus to their computers or be directed to a site where they can pay for anti-spyware software, which is actually the virus itself. So, not only do web surfers gain a virus, but they lose money in the process and can also run the risk of identity theft.
Web masters are being urged to upgrade spam filters and web surfers are being warned to be on the lookout for suspicious sites when searching for news on Bin Laden’s death.