Vulnerabilities / Threats
9/29/2009
06:32 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Bing Ads Warn About Scams

As part of its ongoing security push, Microsoft is teaming up with the government and Western Union to run search ads to educate users about potential online fraud.

In keeping with expanding efforts to educate consumers about security risks, Microsoft, in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission, the United States Postal Inspection Service and Western Union, has launched a series of online public service announcements (PSAs) on its Bing search engine to warn searchers about online scams.

The PSAs appear as sponsored ads atop Bing search results lists in response to keywords commonly targeted by scammers.

A search for "Microsoft Lottery," for example, returns a sponsored link at the top of the search results list titled "Advance Fee Fraud Scams," followed by the admonition, "Don't send money before verifying the source of the request."

The link leads to a Microsoft Web page that explains how advance fee fraud scams work.

Other keywords designed to trigger the PSAs -- such as "credit repair" and "mortgage foreclosure" -- lead to landing pages hosted by the FTC. However, these PSA links are intermingled with other sponsored links on Bing.com, making them less noticeable than the lone Microsoft ad triggered by the keywords "Microsoft Lottery."

"The campaign builds on similar information we recently began providing in Windows Live, all with the idea that by providing education within the product experience, consumers will be reminded to be cautious at the very moment it's most important," said Microsoft associate general counsel Tim Cranton, in a blog post. "Obviously, these particular issues are not the only scams or fraud consumers might come across online, but they certainly are some of the more prevalent scams out there. We see this campaign as a positive step in an ongoing effort to help make the Internet a safer place."

Microsoft has taken other steps in the same direction recently. Two weeks ago, Cranton announced a related effort to improve online security: the filing of five lawsuits aimed at curbing the spread of malicious online ads, or malvertising. And on Tuesday, Microsoft also released its own free antivirus software, Microsoft Security Essentials, in an effort to raise the security baseline of Windows systems.

Rohyt Belani, managing partner and co-founder of the Intrepidus Group, a security consultancy, said in a phone interview that organizations with large consumer bases have become more focused on educating consumers, partly in response to the FTC's "Red Flag Rule," which requires creditors and financial institutions to have identity theft prevention programs to detect and respond to activities that may be indicative of identity theft.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on smartphone security. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-8617
Published: 2015-03-04
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Web Action Quarantine Release feature in the WebGUI in Fortinet FortiMail before 4.3.9, 5.0.x before 5.0.8, 5.1.x before 5.1.5, and 5.2.x before 5.2.3 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the release parameter to module/re...

CVE-2015-2209
Published: 2015-03-04
DLGuard 4.5 allows remote attackers to obtain the installation path via the c parameter to index.php.

CVE-2014-7896
Published: 2015-03-03
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in HP XP P9000 Command View Advanced Edition Software Online Help, as used in HP Device Manager 6.x through 8.x before 8.1.2-00, HP XP P9000 Tiered Storage Manager 6.x through 8.x before 8.1.2-00, HP XP P9000 Replication Manager 6.x and 7.x before ...

CVE-2014-9283
Published: 2015-03-03
The BestWebSoft Captcha plugin before 4.0.7 for WordPress allows remote attackers to bypass the CAPTCHA protection mechanism and obtain administrative access via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-9683
Published: 2015-03-03
Off-by-one error in the ecryptfs_decode_from_filename function in fs/ecryptfs/crypto.c in the eCryptfs subsystem in the Linux kernel before 3.18.2 allows local users to cause a denial of service (buffer overflow and system crash) or possibly gain privileges via a crafted filename.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.