The methodology of the study was fairly simple. The researchers set up a system which would automatically search using trending keywords in order to find out which search engine, Google, Yahoo Search!, Bing or Twitter would serve a malicious result. The findings:
In June, Google was crowned “King” of malware, containing 69% of the malware. By December, that number decreased by 45% to Google containing 38% of the overall malware. This shows that attackers have not only increased the amount of overall search engine malware but also have decided that it is worth targeting other search engines besides Google.
- 34,627 malware samples found
- 1 in 1000 search results lead to malware
- 1 in 5 search topics lead to malware
- Number 2 Search Term Leading to Malware: “Jenni J-Woww”
Although compared to the previous study, Google's market share is diminishing, the number is still high taking into consideration the fact that Google remains the most widely used search engine followed by Bing.
Meanwhile, cybercriminals are no longer interested in building diverse content farms, as much as they are interested in exploiting the real-time nature of the Web, by automatically hijacking keywords from Google Trends and Yahoo Buzz. They follow the trends, hence the increase in malicious results on Bing.
Search engines and blackhat SEO (search engine optimization) attacks continue representing a prominent tactic in the arsenal of the malicious attacker.
- Google tops comparative review of malicious search results
- The Web's most dangerous keywords to search for
- Cybercriminals syndicating Google Trends keywords to serve malware
- The ultimate guide to scareware protection
- Google: Scareware accounts for 15 percent of all malware