April 30, 2007

Google Ads With Spyware

What is this?Google has found removed paid links that advertised seemingly legitimate Web sites but actually tried to install nefarious programs on PCs!The links were displayed as "sponsored links" after visitors entered specific queries into Google's search service.If users clicked through, they'd initially travel through the smartrack.org domain, which attempted to install spyware. If installed, the spyware was intended to alter online banking pages to capture users' personal data. After rapidly passing through the smartrack domain, users were redirected to visit the legitimate Better Business Bureau site.The software firm tracked the early April registration of the smartrack domain by a previously known spyware culprit, and according to its records, believes the offender created Google AdWords sponsored link campaigns by April 10. Exploit Prevention Labs provided a screenshot of the mock Better Business Bureau ad to back up its claim. The company said a search on the phrase, "how to start a business" also resulted in a spyware-driven sponsored link disguised as an AllBusiness.com ad.