SEO Poisoning Campaign Targets Bin Laden Searches On Google Images

The death of terrorist Osama Bin Laden has sparked a series of phishing and malware attacks mounted by hackers looking to exploit the wide coverage the event is getting.

According to antivirus software maker Kaspersky, four hours after the Obama announced the death of the world’s most wanted man, hackers had launched SEO poisoning and adware attacks on Google in order to exploit the popularity of the news.

“As always, when big news appear in the press the bad guys start black hat SEO campaigns in popular search engines trying to lure users to install Rogueware,” Fabio Assolini, Kaspersky Lab Expert, said in a blog post. “It's not different this time, with the top news about Osama's Bin Laden death being everywhere. The bad guys were quite fast and started to poison [search] results in Google Images,” he added.

SEO poisoning uses the same techniques as other SEO campaigns, but instead of bringing in potential customers or ad clicks, it is used to spread malware. In this case, Google Images was flooded with fake image results and links to rogue websites that prompt users to install fake antivirus, which is actually malware that infects the computer systems.