Hackers Falsely Reporting Gwen's Death

I almost didn’t want to post this because it is so unthinkably morbid,but just to warn fans out there,according to Bloomberg News,some computer hackers have horribly been spreading rumors of Gwen’s death through search engines like Google,Bing,Yahoo,and Twitter to spark searches they can embed with their programs.They are also spreading false rumors about other celebrities-hopefully these cyber criminals can be stopped soon;in the meantime,be careful about clicking search results.

The criminals rely on some of the same techniques — sprinkling key words, links and videos on their websites — legitimate companies use to boost their search-result rankings, Judge said.

“The attackers have learned from the marketing people,” he said.

Some companies make the criminals’ job easier by ranking their searches, the most popular of which are then targeted to be infected, he said.

Cyber criminals also spread rumors — including recent false reports of singer Gwen Stefani’s death — to spark searches they can embed with their programs, said Anup Ghosh, a former program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

In one recent incident, users who clicked on a picture of Paltrow at a New York charity event were greeted by a dialog box that said their computer needed to be scanned for viruses. A click on that box triggered animation simulating a scan that claimed to find numerous viruses. Choosing “remove all” downloaded the malicious program. The link was taken down one hour after it appeared.

Anti-Virus Focus
For the most part, security companies spend most of their time developing anti-viral programs and fixes for existing software and aren’t focused on cleaning up the searches, said Ghosh, who founded Fairfax, Virginia-based Invincea Inc. to create products to fill that void.

“Just about everybody in the security industry ignores this problem,” said Ghosh.

That may be changing. Google and Microsoft engineers said they scan billions of web addresses daily to identify suspect sites. The rivals also share information on hacker search ploys, said Bruce Cowper, a group manager in Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing unit.

“As attacks become more complex, I think there’s going to be a lot more collaboration across the industry,” he said.

Dana Lengkeek, a Yahoo! spokeswoman, referred questions to Microsoft, which provides security for the Sunnyvale, California-based company’s search engine. Matt Graves and Jodi Olson, spokespeople for San Francisco-based Twitter, didn’t respond to e-mails.

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