Got this from IT at work. Use Caution with Search Engines

Nan and Sandy Sanders esanders at
Thu Nov 29 20:35:00 CST 2007

Unlike the usual message of this type, this seems for real. Read the 
articles linked at the end.

Information Security Advisory: Use Caution with Search Engines

A new threat has been discovered that affects the entire Internet. 
The most widely used search engines; including Google, Yahoo, and 
MSN; contain links to malicious websites that appear near the top of 
search results. Seemingly legitimate searches may lead users to sites 
that contain viruses, trojans, and other malicious code that can be 
easily transferred to the browser's computer.

How it Works

Attackers have created enormous automated networks to spoof and scam 
search engines into placing their websites near the top of search 
results. Unwary users assume that popular search engines only point 
to legitimate websites.

Malicious iFrames, rootkits and fake codecs are being served up on 
tens of thousands of sites returned as results for searches for such 
things as alternate router firmware or "how to for Microsoft Excel," 
"currency converter," "americanexpress/activate," and "knitted or 
crocheted dachshund patterns."


By clicking on these sites, users may become infected by adware, 
viruses, or even rootkits and password stealers.


There's no absolute way to determine if a website contains malcode or 
not.  But some good practices include:

-          don't click on any link ending in ".cn"

-          don't click on website names or descriptions that don't 
appear legitimate

-          don't accept any requests by websites to install drivers, 
codecs, or any other application on your system

Further Reading

These links provide more technical information about the situation.


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