Feeds

MS security centre search poisoned with infectious smut

Chapeau-noir SEOs seed results with seediness

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Microsoft has disabled the search results on its Security Centre after malware-spreaders abused the function to promote shady pornographic websites serving Trojans as well as cheap thrills.

Only the Security Section of Microsoft's website was affected by the search-engine poisoning attack. Such attacks are often used to place scareware portals and the like high in the index of searches for terms in the news, such as royal weddings, celebrity deaths and natural disasters.

In the case of the Microsoft security search results, only searches for a limited range of terms return links to dodgy sites. These search terms include "porn" or "streaming" (a much more plausible search term for someone visiting the centre and presumably looking for security-related information rather than cheap thrills). Many of these sites are serving up malware as well as smut, net security firm GFI Software warns.

"Since only specific terms are used, if you search using a different term, say 'united nations', you'll get real, normal results," explains Alex Eckelberry of GFI Software.

"In other words, blackhat SEOs are seeding illegitimate search results within the Microsoft search results. Pretty tricky and impressive. There are a number of ways this could be done (for example, using the ability on the site to Twitter a search result)."

In an update, Eckelberry added that Microsoft has temporarily disabled the search feature on its Security Centre, presumably while it cleans out its search index. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.