Feeds

MS security centre search poisoned with infectious smut

Chapeau-noir SEOs seed results with seediness

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.