Posts Tagged: SEO


Cybercriminals release Socks4/Socks5 based Alexa PageRank boosting application

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Since its inception in 1996, Alexa has positioned itself as primary Web metrics data portal, empowering Web masters, potential investors, and marketers with access to free analytics based on data gathered from toolbars installed on millions of PCs across the world. Successfully establishing itself as the most popular, publicly accessible Web site performance benchmarking tool, throughout the years, the Alexa PageRank has acted as a key indicator for the measurement of a Web site’s popularity, growth and overall performance, often used in presentations, competitive intelligence campaigns, and comparative reviews measuring the performance/popularity of particular Web sites. Operating in a world […]

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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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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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Cybercriminals infiltrate the music industry by offering full newly released albums for just $1

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Next to commodity underground goods and services such as managed spam, harvested email databases, boutique cybercrime-friendly services, services offering access to hacked PCs, managed malware crypting on demand, and managed email hacking as a service, the cybercrime ecosystem is also a thriving marketplace for stolen intellectual property, such as music releases. In this post I’ll profile a recently launched affiliate network for pirated music, offering up to 35% revenue sharing schemes with the cybercriminals that start reselling the stolen releases which undercut the official music marketplaces prices in an attempt to increase their profits. More details:

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10 Threats from 2010 We’d Prefer Remain History

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With 2010 finally behind us, and an unknown number of cyberattacks likely to come in the new year, I thought I’d run down a brief list of the malicious campaigns criminals pulled off last year that I’d really dread to see anyone repeat. Now that they’re in the past, they should stay there. Operation Aurora: Google’s accusation (with Adobe, Juniper Networks, Rackspace, Yahoo! and Symantec) that China hacked its servers, allegedly stealing private emails stored on the company’s servers. The big surprise wasn’t that it was happening, but that companies were publicly talking about it. Abused ccTLDs: 2010 saw lots […]

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