Google’s high utilization as a search engine by a majority of internet users may have inadvertently assisted hackers in their development of malicious computer attacks. Results displaying links to false antivirus software have been one of the largest problems facing Google users. Hackers have relied upon Google’s methodology for search results to boost the rankings of their own, malicious URLs by utilizing sneaky black hat SEO techniques to skew and infect search engine results. This increases the ranking of their own infected websites, and thus the amount of computers affected by a virus.
The software company, Symantic, has researched this trend and found that in an average hour over 30% of the top search trends lead to a minimum of one of these malicious URLs. These statistics occur within the first seventy results. Nearly all of the poisoned search results lead to fake antivirus software.
It is ironic for the unwary internet user that purported “antivirus” software will ultimately provide the introduction of malicious software into their computers. Symantic suggests that search engine users be extra careful when clicking links to search results, especially when they are researching popular topics. It is important to be aware of this type of malicious software and know how to avoid it.