Saturday, May 21, 2011

Careful! Converting currency on Google can lead to malware


Malicious links appeared within the top five results in several currency conversion attempts on Google.a

By Rosa Golijan

Another day, another way for you to pick up malware. Today's scary corner of the Internet? Currency conversion searches on Google.a

The folks from Sophos Labs report that there appear to be a great deal of malicious links among the results for currency conversion-themed searches on Google.a

We tested out the example they provided — a query which attempted to convert 215 Euro to dollars — as well as several similar conversions and found that the results were just as Sophos Labs described them:a

A quick search [through the results] finds a number of other webpages which don't just use keywords related to currency conversion, but also other terms - "dirty sexist jokes", for instance.a

What is occurring here is SEO poisoning, where bad guys create poisoned webpages related to certain search terms in the hope that you will come across them and infect your computer.a

So what can you do? You can use security or filtering software — naturally Sophos Labs suggests that you use its own product, but there are plenty of options — and keep up your guard. Take a closer look at search results before you follow links. Consider if something seem strange or whether there is a trusted website you could go to instead.a

Related stories:a

Phishing site discovered on Sony servers Microsoft: One out of 14 downloads is malicious Study: 99% of Android phones vulnerable to attack

Rosa Golijan writes about tech here and there. She's obsessed with Twitter and loves to be liked on Facebook.a

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