Posts Tagged: Blackhat SEO


Commercially available database of 52M+ ccTLD zone transfer domains spotted in the wild

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For years, cybercriminals have been building ‘hit lists’of potential targets through automated and efficiency-oriented reconnaissance TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures).  The aim is to fraudulently/maliciously capitalize on these databases consisting of both corporate and government users. Seeking a positive return on their fraudulent/malicious activities, cybercriminals also actively apply basic QA (Quality Assurance) processes, standardization, systematic releasing of DIY (do-it-yourself) cybercrime-friendly applications – all to further ensure a profitable outcome for their campaigns. Thanks to the active implementation of these TTPs, in 2014, the market segments for spam-ready managed services/blackhat SEO (search engine optimization) continue to flourish with experienced vendors starting to ‘vertically integrate’ within the cybercrime […]

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Google’s reCAPTCHA under automatic fire from a newly launched reCAPTCHA-solving/breaking service

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It can be easily argued, that CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), is the modern day’s ‘guardian of the Web’, in the context of preventing the mass, systematic, and efficient abuse of virtually each and every Web property there is. Over the years, CAPTCHA developers continued to strike a balance between the actual usability and sophistication/resilience to attacks, while excluding the beneath the radar emergence of a trend, which would later on prove to successfully exploit a fundamental flaw in the very concept of the CAPTCHA process. Namely, the fact that, the very same humans […]

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Cybercrime Trends 2013 – Year in Review

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It’s that time of the year! The moment when we reflect back on the cybercrime tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) that shaped 2013, in order to constructively speculate on what’s to come for 2014 in terms of fraudulent and malicious campaigns, orchestrated by opportunistic cybercriminal adversaries across the globe. Throughout 2013, we continued to observe and profile TTPs, which were crucial for the success, profitability and growth of the cybercrime ecosystem internationally, such as, for instance, widespread proliferation of the campaigns, professionalism and the implementation of basic business/economic/marketing concepts, improved QA (Quality Assurance), vertical integration in an attempt to occupy […]

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Commercial Windows-based compromised Web shells management application spotted in the wild

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For years, whenever I needed a fresh sample of pharmaceutical scams, I always sampled the Web sites of major educational institutions, where a thriving ecosystem relying on compromised Web shells, continues to enjoy the high page ranks of the affected Web sites for blackhat SEO (search engine optimization) purposes. How are cybercriminals managing these campaigns? What type of tools and tactics do they use? In a cybercrime ecosystem that has logically migrated to Web-based platforms for a variety of reasons over the last couple of years, there are still those who’re keeping it old school, by releasing host-based DIY cybercrime-friendly […]

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Newly launched VDS-based cybercrime-friendly hosting provider helps facilitate fraudulent/malicious online activity

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Realizing the market segment potential of bulletproof hosting services in a post-Russian Business Network (RBN) world — although it can be easily argued that as long as its operators are at large they will remain in business — cybercriminals continue supplying the cybercrime ecosystem with market-relevant propositions. It empowers anyone with the ability to host fraudulent and malicious content online. A newly launched Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS) type of bulletproof hosting vendor is pitching itself to prospective cybercriminals, offering them hosting services for spam, malware, brute-forcing tools, blackhat SEO tools, C&C (command and control) servers, exploit kits and warez. In […]

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Commercially available Blackhat SEO enabled multi-third-party product licenses empowered VPSs spotted in the wild

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Standardization is the cybercrime ecosystem’s efficiency-oriented mentality to the general business ‘threat’ posed by inefficiencies and lack of near real-time capitalization on (fraudulent/malicious) business opportunities. Ever since the first (public) discovery of managed spam appliances back in 2007, it has become evident that cybercriminals are no strangers to basic market penetration/market growth/market development business concepts. Whether it’s the template-ization of malware-serving sites, money mule recruitment, spamming or blackhat SEO, this efficiency-oriented mentality can be observed in virtually each and every market segment of the ecosystem. In this post, I’ll discuss a recent example of standardization, in particular, a blackhat SEO […]

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A peek inside a Blackhat SEO/cybercrime-friendly doorways management platform

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The perceived decline in the use of blackhat SEO (search engine optimization) tactics for delivering malicious/fraudulent content over the last couple of years, does not necessarily mean that cybercriminals have somehow abandoned the concept of abusing the world’s most popular search engines. The fact is, this tactic remains effective at reaching users who, on the majority of occasions, trust that that the search result links are malware/exploit free. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Cybercriminals continue introducing new tactics helping fraudulent adversaries to quickly build up and aggregate millions of legitimate visitors, to be later on exposed to online scams or directly […]

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Cybercrime-friendly underground traffic exchange helps facilitate fraudulent and malicious activity

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Throughout the last couple of years, the persistent demand for geolocated traffic coming from both legitimate traffic exchanges or purely malicious ones — think traffic acquisition through illegally embedded iFrames — has been contributing to the growing market segment where traffic is bought, sold and re-sold, for the sole purpose of monetizing it through illegal means. The ultimately objective? Expose users visiting compromised, or blackhat SEO-friendly automatically generated sites with bogus content, to fraudulent or malicious content in the form of impersonations of legitimate Web sites seeking accounting data, or client-side exploits silently served in an attempt to have an […]

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How fraudulent blackhat SEO monetizers apply Quality Assurance (QA) to their DIY doorway generators

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How are cybercriminals most commonly abusing legitimate Web traffic? On the majority of occasions, some will either directly embed malicious iFrames on as many legitimate Web sites as possible, target server farms and the thousands of customers that they offer services to, or generate and upload invisible doorways on legitimate, high pagerank-ed Web properties, in an attempt to monetize the hijacked search traffic. In this post I’ll profile a DIY blackhat SEO doorway generator, that surprisingly, has a built-in module allowing the cybercriminal using it to detect and remove 21 known Web backdoors (shells) from the legitimate Web site about to be abused, just in case […]

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Cybercriminals populate Scribd with bogus adult content, spread malware using Comodo Backup

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On their way to convert legitimate traffic into malware-infected hosts using web malware exploitation kits, cybercriminals have been actively experimenting with multiple traffic acquisition techniques over the past couple of years. From malvertising (the process of displaying malicious ads), to compromised high-trafficked web sites, to blackhat SEO (search engine optimization), the tools in their arsenal have been systematically maturing to become today’s sophisticated traffic acquisition platforms delivering millions of unique visits from across the world, to the cybercriminals behind the campaigns. What are some of the latest campaigns currently circulating in the wild? How are cybercriminals monetizing the hijacked traffic? Are […]

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