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Google Wave search poisoned by scareware scammers

Security Essentials results also rigged

Website security in corporate America

Scareware slingers have poisoned search results for Google Wave in a bid to expose users seeking the communication software to a fake anti-virus scan instead.

Ironically, Google searches for terms related to Google Wave return results that point to sites hosting rogue antivirus, net security firm Websense warns. Google invited only 100,000 users to test its Google Wave collaboration service, a factor that has arguably increased interest in the service while also increasing the potency of fake offers for the service that actually promote malware.

Surfers also need to be wary about hunting for Microsoft's new freebie anti-malware scanner via search engines. Websense further warns that scareware distributors have poisoned search engine results so that sites passing off fake anti-virus scanners appear prominently in searches for Microsoft Security Essentials.

Both the Google Wave and Microsoft Security Essentials attacks rely on black hat Search Engine Optimisation techniques. Wrongdoers typically break into well-established sites and create webpages stuffed full with relevant keywords, cross-linked to other sites compromised in the same way. The tactic is designed to trick search engines into pushing doctored sites higher in search engine indexes for relevant terms.

Malicious scripts on compromised sites are established to forwarding prospective marks arriving via Google towards scareware download sites. ®

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