Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

4/26/2007
02:32 PM
Alice LaPlante
Alice LaPlante
Commentary
50%
50%

You Aren't Safe. Get Over It

The latest news to add to the list of online perils to be paranoid about comes courtesy of the Washington Post. Virus writers apparently have a new scheme for distributing malicious code: purchasing popular Google keywords and publishing ads that purport to lead users to legitimate Websites. Some of the keywords the tricksters bought include "BBB" (for Better Business Bureau) and "Cars.com."

The latest news to add to the list of online perils to be paranoid about comes courtesy of the Washington Post. Virus writers apparently have a new scheme for distributing malicious code: purchasing popular Google keywords and publishing ads that purport to lead users to legitimate Websites. Some of the keywords the tricksters bought include "BBB" (for Better Business Bureau) and "Cars.com."The catch is that clicking on these ads really directs users to nasty places where a particularly damaging piece of malware lurks. If you didn't install an IE patch issued by Microsoft in June 2006, and if you're unlucky enough to be lured to one of these dubious sites, a flaw in Microsoft Windows downloads software that steals passwords and sensitive financial information from your PC. This exploit was identified by Exploit Prevention Labs; it echoes a similar one caught by Security Fix in mid 2006 in which a banner ad on MySpace linked users to an equally dangerous URL.

Yes, as respondents to the article have pointed out, you could put the blame on compromised users because they failed to install the IE patch. But let's face it: If you're reading this post on the InformationWeek Website, you almost certainly possess a certain amount of technical acumen--probably more than 99 percent of the general Internet-using population. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of the rest of the world isn't aware of the supreme importance of installing security patches, and moreover depends on the reputation of big-name brands like Google to shield them against tricks like this. Yes, it's naïve. But it explains the alarming statistics of why so many PCs of less-technically-expert people get infected so fast and so frequently.

This latest nefarious antic certainly gave me pause: I use Google sponsored links all the time. And--clearly wrongly--the fact that they appear on the Google search results page has always increased my sense of their legitimacy. One more thing to put on my personal list.

What about you? What of all the continuous stream of malicious tricks particularly alarm you? Have you ever fallen for one? Has anyone near and dear to you been tricked into giving up sensitive data? Let us hear your stories.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/27/2020
6 Ways Passwords Fail Basic Security Tests
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  10/28/2020
'Act of War' Clause Could Nix Cyber Insurance Payouts
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  10/29/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How to Measure and Reduce Cybersecurity Risk in Your Organization
In this Tech Digest, we examine the difficult practice of measuring cyber-risk that has long been an elusive target for enterprises. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27652
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
Algorithm downgrade vulnerability in QuickConnect in Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) before 6.2.3-25426-2 allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2020-27653
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
Algorithm downgrade vulnerability in QuickConnect in Synology Router Manager (SRM) before 1.2.4-8081 allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2020-27654
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
Improper access control vulnerability in lbd in Synology Router Manager (SRM) before 1.2.4-8081 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via port (1) 7786/tcp or (2) 7787/tcp.
CVE-2020-27655
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
Improper access control vulnerability in Synology Router Manager (SRM) before 1.2.4-8081 allows remote attackers to access restricted resources via inbound QuickConnect traffic.
CVE-2020-27656
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
Cleartext transmission of sensitive information vulnerability in DDNS in Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) before 6.2.3-25426-2 allows man-in-the-middle attackers to eavesdrop authentication information of DNSExit via unspecified vectors.