Automated SEO poisoning attacks explained

Filed Under: Malware

We've talked many times on this blog about how hackers exploit hot trending news stories using blackhat search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to poison search engine results. Often this is with the intention of spreading scareware (also known as fake anti-virus attacks).

Sea World killer whale malicious search result

In fact, SEO poisoning is one of the major methods of attack that we are seeing being used by online criminals at the moment.

Fraser and Onur in our labs have written an excellent technical paper (PDF) which discusses the problem, and lifts the lid on how the bad guys are using automated kits to do their dirty work for them.

SEO poisoning technical paper

It's a great read. Check it out now.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley