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HomeResourcesSecurity AlertsWinter Olympics and Poisoned Search Results

Security is important

There are many threats on the Internet all of which can compromise your organisation

We ensure our clients are kept up to date on any current security threats. We regularly send an email that helps highlight things

Once the e-mail has been sent it out it is also added to the website so the information is easily accessible


Latest Threats

Winter Olympics and Poisoned Search Results


I took a support call last night that originally prompted me to draft this email and I then remembered a threat that’s getting a bit of traction at the moment so thought it would be sensible to combine the two!

Before that, just a reminder that our recently revamped website also has a permanent home for all our security alerts

There is also a real time threat monitor on that page and we’ll add more tools and resources in the coming months

Back to the alert!

The support call I mentioned earlier was to do with poisoned search results

The bad guys create webpages that are designed to be picked up by the major search engines and displayed when certain search phrases are entered

When you click on the link you are then redirected to a website that contains malware which then tries to trick you into installing it on your system

A current example of this has been with the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Since there is a lot of interest in the event it’s a prime target for poisoned search results as they can target a larger number of people

Here is an example of a search result that appears to be harmless at first glance

On clicking the link you then may see something like this

Web page “scanning” your PC


An alert appears to prompt you to perform a virus scan


The webpage than changes to make it look like it’s actually your PC displaying the alert. Notice the left hand side of the page, it’s designed to look like the Windows XP navigation area. If you look at the top however, it’s quite clearly still inside a webpage


Here is a variation designed to look like Windows Vista


This is known as “scareware”. The page wants you to click the one of the links where is would then attempt to download the actual malware

Until you click on the link and run the software there isn’t actually any threat to your system at all. It’s still just a webpage!

Ultimately this is what the end goal is.



The site is trying to scare into agreeing to install their malware

As well as scareware tactics the bad guys are also using an old trick based around the Winter Olympics

The search results may display a webpage promising to you show you a video of one of the events. When you try to view the video you’ll be prompted to “update your media player”


Obviously this is also designed to get malware installed onto your system

So a few key points to take away
• Just because something shows up in a search result doesn’t mean it’s automatically safe
• Anti-virus software should NEVER ask you to install an extra piece of software to clean up threats
• Visiting a webpage claiming to “update” any part of your system should always be treated with suspicion

Please pass on this information to anyone you feel may benefit from it

As always if you aren’t sure about anything that looks even vaguely suspicious please get in touch

If you would like to be removed from the security alerts mailing list please let me know

Conversely if you would like anyone to be added to the list please let me know


IBIT Solutions
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