SEO Techniques Exposed

When tragedies take place in the world, many people flock to the web to get clarification and find out more details.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) attackers know and take advantage of this curiosity.  They use blackhat SEO techniques to booby-trap web pages with related content and get their sites to the top of the search site lists.  Sophos researchers Fraser Howard and Onur Komili have put together a detailed report explaining how it has become routine for attackers to compromise web content to aid in malware distribution.  According to the study, the commonly used blackhat tactics include:

  • Fake antivirus
  • SEO page
  • Blackhat SEO kits
  • SEO poisoning
  • Search engine crawlers

At the centre of any blackhat SEO attack is the need to feed content into search engine crawlers to add to their search results, while redirecting users to a malicious site.  Most blackhat SEO kits can tell the difference between a search engine crawling the site for content, a user visiting via search engine link, and someone visiting the site directly.  Some basic guidance is provided to aid in detecting and mitigating this threat.

Sophos Report