In yet another example of the exploitation of search engine optimization techniques, our industry is buzzing about how the world's excitement over Apple's planned iPad has been hijacked by dirty black hat campaigns. Frankly none of us were surprised to learn that individuals were buildings scams around the keyword.
Criminals began hijacking search engine results even before Apple's official announcement of the iPad, using results for Apple's iPad and related keywords to spread a rogue anti-Virus application known as, 'Live PC Care.'
Once the buzz about Apple's tablet computer started to circulate, these criminals took advantage of the opportunity to exploit first the rumor, then the news and finally the expected surge in search terms on Google and Bing related to the release. They did so by launching SEO attacks that put their own phishing websites at the top of search pages.
Live PC Care, like most rogue antivirus applications, reports non-existent infections, while inundating the user with on-going pop-up prompts. The application then offers to clean the system once the user pays a requested price by submitting credit card data.
The download is a scam, however, and victims end up handing over credit card numbers and other personal information. It is unfortunate that there are cybercriminals out there who use good search engine techniques for malicious purposes.