Ledger poisons Google

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 24, 2008

Actor's death exploited by malware writers to infect computers.

The death of actor Heath Ledger on Tuesday had barely been confirmed a few hours when malicious websites started using his name to boost their rankings in Google searches.

Web users who searched for 'heath' and 'ledger' in Google would have found these malicious sites high in the search results, thanks to the deployment of some search engine optimisation tricks. Anyone clicking through to the dodgy sites would immediately be redirected to a site supposedly requiring the installation of an ActiveX Object. Of course, users who allowed the installation to proceed simply ended up with various trojans and worms on their computer.

The malicious websites are hosted in the Czech Republic on a server that is believed to be hacked. It has become common practice of malware writers to use big news to poison Google results and attract visitors to spread their malware. Something similar was seen in December, when following the assassination of Pakistan politician Benazir Bhutto, many malicious sites appeared that used her name to gain high positions in Google searches.

The sorry tale confirms once again the depths to which today's malware writers will stoop to ensure a wide spread of their creations. Users are advised not only to ensure they keep their anti-malware products up to date, but also to exercise caution when allowing their browser to install applications and updates.

More can be found at Trend Micro here.

Posted on 24 January 2008 by Virus Bulletin



Latest posts:

New paper: Collector-stealer: a Russian origin credential and information extractor

In a new paper, F5 researchers Aditya K Sood and Rohit Chaturvedi present a 360 analysis of Collector-stealer, a Russian-origin credential and information extractor.

VB2021 localhost videos available on YouTube

VB has made all VB2021 localhost presentations available on the VB YouTube channel, so you can now watch - and share - any part of the conference freely and without registration.

VB2021 localhost is over, but the content is still available to view!

VB2021 localhost - VB's second virtual conference - took place last week, but you can still watch all the presentations.

VB2021 localhost call for last-minute papers

The call for last-minute papers for VB2021 localhost is now open. Submit before 20 August to have your paper considered for one of the slots reserved for 'hot' research!

New article: Run your malicious VBA macros anywhere!

Kurt Natvig explains how he recompiled malicious VBA macro code to valid harmless Python 3.x code.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.