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Endpoint

Exploits Take Advantage Of Hot News, Search Queries

Attackers look to attach their malware to hot Google searches, report says

If you want to find malware, then just look for the most sensational developments in the news.

That's the theme running through MX Logic's August Threat Forecast, which was published today. Researchers at the security firm predict a whole new round of attacks that take advantage of users' interest in breaking news.

For example, the report predicts that instead of attempting to inflate Google results to raise their malware sites to the top of search queries -- as attackers have been doing for several months now -- hackers will soon find ways to simply attach their malware to the legitimate results of popular search topics.

Using this approach, "cybercriminals do not have to do any extra work to inflate trending topics through Google," the report says. "They are created organically through user searches, meaning that those terms are things that people are most interested in anyway."

Attackers also continue to exploit the latest news items as disguises for their spam and malware, MX Logic observes. While July was dominated by Michael Jackson, August will likely bring fake email messages that warn about hurricanes or promise scoreboard applications for fantasy football, the report states.

Spam levels for August are expected to remain about the same as they were in July, MX Logic says.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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