Beware: Attackers Buy Top Search Engine Results to Trick You

What seems to be the best way to find a company’s website? Use a search engine, of course. The danger is that scammers can pay for top spots on search engine results to trick you into accessing a malicious site.

Here is how the scam works: Suppose you want to look up a company online named Super Duper, so you type the store’s name into your favorite search engine. An attacker might have purchased the top result to take you to the website superduperco.com. However, if you knew to scroll down past the paid-for-results, you would have seen that the real website is superduper.com. Attackers set up a website and named it superduperco.com.

Their deceptive site might contain malicious advertising, ask you to enter credit card numbers during checkout, or tempt you to download malicious programs and apps. They might ask you to login or reset a password, and they capture the password you type in.

If you look up a retailer in a search engine, skip past the ads and paid results. Scroll down to see real search results. Even then, be skeptical in case attackers used SEO techniques to appear at the top of the actual search results.

Please forward this to your friends to alert their users that top search engine results can be a trap.


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