Malware sites exploit the death of Patrick Swayze

Malware sites exploit the death of Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze, photo by Alan LightOnly a few hours after the announcement of his death, malicious websites are already using interest in actor Patrick Swayze to trick visitors into installing malware.

The malicious sites are using ‘Black Hat’ SEO techniques to get infected sites onto the first page of Google results for searches about the Dirty Dancing star.

With Google becoming very good at quickly spotting and blocking malware infected sites, hacking existing sites and pumping them full of keywords that are likely to get a lot of visits in a short amount of time is a worthwhile trick for those keen to infect innocent people’s computers.

The Register reports:

“Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, explained: “Sometimes the scareware guys create brand new webpages (new domains) and stuff them with keywords and the like to try and get them high on Google’s search results.”

“However, the sheer fact that they are newly registered domains makes them more suspicious than domains that have been around for some time, and so this can work against them.”

“So, they’re breaking into existing sites, creating webpages that are stuffed with relevant keywords in the hope that they will both get higher in search results *and* benefit from the fact that the domain has existed for some time,” he added.”

As we reported recently, malware is a fast-growing problem. The number of infected sites identified by Google has doubled in the past year.

Malware is often installed using a popup message that says something like “Your computer may be infected. Scan now?”. I’m guessing that most The Next Web readers are too smart to click ‘Yes’ when they see these messages, so you might be wondering exactly what happens if you do. This video from Sophos explains the process behind today’s Patrick Swayze-based attack.


[Photo credit: Alan Light]

Read next: Discussing Session 5 at TC50: Business Applications