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-2013-6501
Published: 2015-03-30
The default soap.wsdl_cache_dir setting in (1) php.ini-production and (2) php.ini-development in PHP through 5.6.7 specifies the /tmp directory, which makes it easier for local users to conduct WSDL injection attacks by creating a file under /tmp with a predictable filename that is used by the get_s...

CVE-2014-9652
Published: 2015-03-30
The mconvert function in softmagic.c in file before 5.21, as used in the Fileinfo component in PHP before 5.4.37, 5.5.x before 5.5.21, and 5.6.x before 5.6.5, does not properly handle a certain string-length field during a copy of a truncated version of a Pascal string, which might allow remote atta...

CVE-2014-9653
Published: 2015-03-30
readelf.c in file before 5.22, as used in the Fileinfo component in PHP before 5.4.37, 5.5.x before 5.5.21, and 5.6.x before 5.6.5, does not consider that pread calls sometimes read only a subset of the available data, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (uninitialized memory ...

CVE-2014-9705
Published: 2015-03-30
Heap-based buffer overflow in the enchant_broker_request_dict function in ext/enchant/enchant.c in PHP before 5.4.38, 5.5.x before 5.5.22, and 5.6.x before 5.6.6 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via vectors that trigger creation of multiple dictionaries.

CVE-2014-9709
Published: 2015-03-30
The GetCode_ function in gd_gif_in.c in GD 2.1.1 and earlier, as used in PHP before 5.5.21 and 5.6.x before 5.6.5, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (buffer over-read and application crash) via a crafted GIF image that is improperly handled by the gdImageCreateFromGif function.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Good hackers--aka security researchers--are worried about the possible legal and professional ramifications of President Obama's new proposed crackdown on cyber criminals.