Monday, January 30, 2023

Recent rise in SEO poisoning attacks compromise brand reputations - TechRepublic

Last updated Tuesday, January 24, 2023 16:05 ET , Source: NewsService

A new research report from SentinelOne exposes a SEO poisoning attack campaign that hijacks brand names in paid search ads.

SentinelOne has reported an increase in malicious search engine advertisements in recent weeks. The researchers explain that attackers using search engine optimization poisoning are generally more successful “when they SEO poison the results of popular downloads associated with organizations that do not have extensive internal brand protection resources.”

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What is an SEO poisoning attack?

SEO poisoning attacks consist of altering search engines results so that the first advertised links actually lead to attacker controlled sites, generally to infect visitors with malware or to attract more people on ad fraud. SentinelOne provided an example of a recent SEO poisoning campaign in their report.

The Blender 3D SEO poisoning campaign

A routine search on Google’s search engine for the brand name Blender 3D, an open-source 3D graphics design software, provided the following results on Jan. 18, 2023 (Figure A):

Figure A

A user who doesn’t read the URL closely or is unsure of the exact URL of the software might click on any of those attacker-controlled domains, which could result in a compromise.

The malicious top result blender-s.org is a near exact copy of the legitimate website from Blender, yet the download link does not lead to a download on blender.org but to a DropBox URL delivering a blender.zip file.

The second malicious website at...

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