Hacker trend analysis and SEO techniques going haywire?

According to Panda Security, whilst it's not uncommon to see cybercriminals targetting current events or upcoming holidays, its research team have come across a campaign that is several months ahead of schedule.

An ongoing Blackhat SEO campaign, says Panda Security, is heavily targetting Halloween and Thanksgiving related keywords.

PandaLabs security researcher Sean-Paul Correll says that the current top five search engine targetted keywords are: Printable (for cards), Halloween, Thanksgiving, Invitations and Turkey.

Writing in a weekend security blog, Correll says that clicking on the targetted phrases in the search engine results leads internet users us to the Desktop Security 2010 Rogueware campaign.

This, he says, carries out a number of annoying procedures, such as hijacking web-browsing sessions, repeatedly playing messages over the speakers–  for example "your computer is infected" – and generating pop-ups.

The moral of the story, Infosecurity notes, is that internet users should be very cautious of sponsored search engine results, as the nature of sponsored ads means that 'polluted' results can be achieved relatively cheaply - or even free, if a legitimate website is cracked.

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