Cybercriminals have moved on from search engine optimization techniques
and are now creating fake search sites designed solely to direct Web
surfers to pages hosting malware, Panda Security warned on Wednesday.
Previously, attackers resorted to sending e-mails with malicious code
in attachments and with links to malicious Web sites and took measures
to push those Web sites higher in search engine rankings. Now, they're
also creating fake search engines that are showing up in Google search
results, according to a PandaLabs blog posting.
When people use the engines to search for popular terms, like "flu
statistics," the results displayed redirect to porn sites that purport
to show video but require the visitor to install what they say is the
latest version of a video player but which instead is malware, the post
said. Searching on the fake search engines for security topics leads to
fake antivirus sites, PandaLabs said.
One of the fake search engines has received about 195,000 visits, according to the post.
Web surfers should use reputable search sites to protect themselves, PandaLabs recommends.
This screenshot shows results on a fake search engine that redirects visitors to sites hosting malware, according to PandaLabs.