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Google Purges Thousands of Malware Sites

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-in-time-for-holiday-shoppers dept.

Security 133

Stony Stevenson sends in word on the most massive "SEO poisoning" seen to date. The attack was directed at Google in particular and resulted in tens of thousands of Web pages hosting exploits showing up on the first page of Google searches for thousands of common terms (PDF). Sunbelt Software blogged about the attack on Monday after investigating it for months. By Wednesday Google had removed tens of thousands of malware-hosting pages from its index.

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133 comments

it's like coke (0, Flamebait)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 6 years ago | (#21516987)

it might be bad for the malware, it doesn't mean it's good for the rest.

Not everything is better with the brand you know. (2, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518063)

Hmmm, it's been about seven years since my browser looked like this [sunbelt-software.com]. What does that blog say about it?

Clicking on these links will expose the user to exploits which will infect a vulnerable system (in other words, a system that is not fully up-to-date with the latest patches).

Those are all Microsoft Windows problems but neither of those words shows up anywhere in the articles. Instead, Google and the user are blamed. Nice.

The less Windoze there is, the better off everyone is. Malware links are an annoyance to everyone and they directly threaten Google's business model. Google is taking care of their search listings, not making the internet safe for crappy software. We would all be better off without the crappy software that powers criminal botnets powerful enough to manipulate Google but the internet will never be a safe place for Windows.

Re:Not everything is better with the brand you kno (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519387)

Hmmm, it's been about seven years since my browser looked like this

If your browser looked like that then I'm pretty sure PEBKC, because mine sure as hell never did.

Some, but not all.... (-1, Troll)

Therapist-o-Slashdot (1195907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517009)

Google can still screw you over, if you are not careful. [google.com]

You're welcome. Just thought I'd point it out.

Re:Some, but not all.... (3, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517055)

Google can still screw you over
That's another goatse link for those of you still sleepy at this time of the morning...

Re:Some, but not all.... (0, Offtopic)

rvw (755107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517109)

Google can still screw you over
That's another goatse link for those of you still sleepy at this time of the morning...
And you are awake now?

Re:Some, but not all.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21517059)

(goatse)

BBC News piece (4, Insightful)

MLCT (1148749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517019)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7118452.stm [bbc.co.uk]

The sites were targeting IE exploits.

Re:BBC News piece (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517137)

FTF Summary:

Sunbelt Software blogged about the attack on Monday after investigating it for months.
From Your BBC:

"This was fairly epic," said Alex Eckelberry, head of Sunbelt Software - one of the firms that uncovered the attack.

Mr Eckelberry said tens of thousands of domains, many based in China and only a couple of days old, were used in the vanguard of the attack.
...
The booby-trapped websites were thought to be in operation for about 24 hours before Google began stripping them out of its search index.
So which was it?
Months of Google poisoning or just day(s)?

Re:BBC News piece (4, Insightful)

Mike89 (1006497) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517391)

They could've 'poisoned' Google for months (linked to domains that didn't exist yet), then set the domains up and waited a few days for Google to recrawl. Then again, I'd have thought pagerank would be age-based too. Those search requests are the kind that show up weird dodgy sites anyway (who searches any of those exact terms anyway?!)

Re:BBC News piece (4, Funny)

Inda (580031) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517861)

I search for 'fetch doggy go go go go go microsoft vpn excel' all the time. The top result was my favourite site until this happened.

Re:BBC News piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21517711)

So which was it?
Months of Google poisoning or just day(s)?


They could have been registering more domains every day for months :O

(If I roll a 20 on an int check, does my critical thought do double damage?)

Re:BBC News piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21517797)

So which was it?

I'd go with the BBC on this one. Slashdot summaries are far from reliable anymore.

Re:BBC News piece (5, Informative)

Alexeck (864216) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518029)

So which was it? Months of Google poisoning or just day(s)? It wasn't "months". I think that confusion came from a subsequent blog post we made where we talked about having tracked _comment spam_ bots for months. This attack was only a matter of days. A number of the domains involved, for example, were registered on the 24th or 25th of November. Alex Eckelberry Sunbelt

Re:BBC News piece (0, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517243)

The sites were targeting IE exploits.
That means nothing. I hope you're not suggesting that it was somehow OK because they were targeting IE and not Firefox. I'm willing to go a long way with dislike of Microsoft, but when I see some sort of "If you use Windows you deserve what you get" argument, I start to think that someone has made a comment without thinking it through.

Blaming the victim is ugly. I hope that's not what you are implying.

Re:BBC News piece (1)

Brown (36659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517351)

While I agree with the general point you were trying to make (that the victim shouldn't be blamed), I don't see any indications that the GP was in fact do so. He appears giving a purely factual statement about the software that is vulnerable to the attack, which I would have said is fairly basic information in a security/malware story. Arguably it's more surprising that the article summary didn't mention what was targeted...

-Chris

Re:BBC News piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518497)

"Arguably it's more surprising that the article summary didn't mention what was targeted..."

How many time in the past has major news reported "a computer virus". It is almost always generic like that without mentioning brand names. The same is not true for other products. I guess ad revenue is a major influence, reports are clueless or Microsoft's influence reaches deep.

Re:BBC News piece (2, Insightful)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517371)

If I buy crap poor quality tools/cars/housing etc... I expect to injure myself, why should there be any difference with operating systems.

Re:BBC News piece (4, Insightful)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517597)

Most users of Windows and IE don't make a conscious decision to do so. It comes preloaded with a computer they buy, they don't question it. Blaming those users for using "poor quality software" (I, for one, find Windows XP a rather pleasant os to work with; IE on the other hand...) would be like blaming any driver for using "poor quality airbags" that came with his car or "poor quality doors" that came with his house after a break-in.
Not everybody is interested in knowing details about every single one of his possessions. You, me and the rest of the /. crowd cares about computers, but a majority of people (wild guess) probably cares as much about their inner workings as I care about the inner workings of my dishwasher. It's a tool ideally fulfilling one or more given tasks (e.g. "get stock quotes" or "clean my dirty dishes") and is to be professionally serviced upon failure to do so. Installing a more secure browser like Opera may be just as good an idea as adding multi-stage UltraSplash 3D cleaning rotors but as long as I can put dirty dishes in and get 'em out clean I wouldn't know why I should care.

Re:BBC News piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519129)

I think you're partially correct. Its also because of brand recognition & lack of education. If you need a car, sure you don't care about how the engine works but you do want to know about its safety rating, mileage (security , performance ?) if your kids will fit in the back ( peripheral/ram upgrades?) and the like. The reason is because the average person is educated by advertisements, tv shows and the like and so far its not "nerdy" to be into cars to care about what tires or car stereo your buddy uses. It is unfortunately nerdy to care about the internals of the computer that enables you to handle your bank account transactions, personal documents, family albums. Unless its "cool" to talk about them in mass-media or among non-computer savvy friends things wont change much.

Re:BBC News piece (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519485)

Would be like blaming any driver for using "poor quality airbags" that came with his car or "poor quality
doors" that came with his house after a break-in.


Exactly, if I'm going to live in an area with a Highish level of crime I'm sure as hell going to make sure that my house has high security doors and windows, the 'idiots' who didn't will obviously get broken into when I don't and yes they could have prevented it so it's partly their fault, just like the police telling you not to leave laptops in the boot of your car or anything on display because if you do your just 'asking' for trouble.

Re:BBC News piece (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517843)

I use Linux. Its like walking in to someone's house and it promptly collapses on top of me.
The idiots who use Windows affect me indirectly which is really annoying since their computers are sending me spam and brute forcing my servers.

Re:BBC News piece (4, Informative)

jrp2 (458093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518435)

"The idiots who use Windows affect me indirectly which is really annoying since their computers are sending me spam and brute forcing my servers."

The most common brute-force attack I see on my IPS are ssh brute-force attacks coming from *nix servers that have been compromised. From what I understand, those ssh brute force attacks are highly effective.

I am no fan of Windows either, but I think that might be a stretch to blame Windows for the bulk of brute-force attacks.

Spam, absolutely.

Re:BBC News piece (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519223)

Most brute forces I see are just random guesses at default accounts.
Its more expensive than a normal brute force so I assume its Windows boxes.

Re:BBC News piece (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519599)

From what I understand, those ssh brute force attacks are highly effective.


Maybe because the administrators of so many servers are morons. They either set stupid passwords for root, or allow their users to pick easy passwords.

Disabling plain-text auth is also a very good idea. Disabling direct root login via ssh, even better.

Re:BBC News piece (2, Insightful)

stacey7165 (1081097) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519979)

Are you kidding? Blaming Windows for this? Microsoft may be an evil giant in your eyes, but what about blaming the people behind the attack? Computers as I know it still take code written by humans to do things both good and evil. This is the moral equivalent of blaming the manufacturer of a knife in a stabbing case.

Operating systems are the least of your issues.

Re:BBC News piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519517)

Who cares if you are being spammed or brute-forced by Windows machines. You run Linux, so you are invulnerable to any sort of attack! Bring it on!

Re:BBC News piece (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519135)

If I misuse or use inappropriately tools/cars/housing etc... I expect to injure myself...

Fixed it for you. The actual brand of tools/cars/housing should be irrelevant. Are you saying there is no way you could injure yourself by using "quality" tools, even by using them incorrectly? If so that is preposterous.

Re:BBC News piece (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519407)

Are you saying there is no way you could injure yourself by using "quality" tools, even by using them incorrectly? If so that is preposterous.
Raise your expectations. http://www.metacafe.com/watch/436740/safesaw [metacafe.com]

Re:BBC News piece (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519999)

Yeah, I have seen this before. Next time I want to make tiny cuts in hot dogs, I'll use one. But for the record, you would still be injured by one of these, just not as bad as with a regular saw...

Re:BBC News piece (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519553)

I'm not saying that I can't injure myself using quality tools, I'm just saying that I expect to injure myself more using poor quality ones.

Re:BBC News piece (2)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517619)

No sense in blaming victims, I agree.

There's sometimes sense in telling people: "By doing X you can decrease the chance that you'll be a victim" though.

Re:BBC News piece (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519903)

The sites were targeting IE exploits.
Well, if we're talking about exploits by the thousands, they'd have to be targeting IE.

I'm tagging this article 'Windows' (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520317)

Still waiting for the day when Slashdot stops posting articles about exploits that have no mention of the OS in the summary...

Sounds Good To Me (2)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517053)

Sounds good, I'm glad someone is actively trying to make the internet a safer place for people in general, as well as cleaning up search pages for people who can spot malware sites from the search engine. This is also good for Google, thanks to their fantastic business model: "the more people who use the internet on a regular basis, the more money we make".

Re:Sounds Good To Me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21517201)

What the hell are you talking about?

Re:Sounds Good To Me (5, Informative)

Andrew Nagy (985144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517841)

I'm probably too late on this discussion, but I thought something needed to be said. I work in online marketing (no, that doesn't mean I am a spammer) and I think this speaks volumes about what Google is hard-pressed to admit. The system can still be gamed. And it seems to me that no matter what Google does to improve their algorithm, the system will still be vulnerable to gaming.

In part, I think this has to do with the oddness that is their ranking strategy. They want to find the most relevant sites for any given query. So they study online behavior and adjust their algorithm to reflect that behavior. At the same time, they publish "guidelines" on how webmasters should design their sites and link out/in. It seems like they're trying to influence how websites behave online and then say that they're picking up on the organic trends. But in the end, they generate the trends. And then they tell everyone how to do it. Because of this, the system will always be vulnerable.

Until, that is, PigeonRank(TM) [google.com] is launched.

Re:Sounds Good To Me (2, Interesting)

mikew03 (186778) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519807)

If this is the best spammers can do against Google I think we should be more impressed than concerned. Apparently most of these sites were up only a few days before being removed. And although they did manage to get on page 1 did anyone else notice how bad the site summaries looked? You'ld have to be a total idiot to click on any of those results even if they were page one.

Re:Sounds Good To Me (1)

Andrew Nagy (985144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520109)

Well that's what scares me. If a bunch of morons can game the system for a few days with horrible meta info, what could some serious SEO-ers do? What have they already done? Can I really trust most of Google's results?

I tend to browse Google results with McAfee SiteAdvisor installed as a plugin. I don't particularly like McAfee, but I do like being able to see reputations of sites before I click on them. Of course, if McAfee hasn't tested the site yet, I accept the risk.

Re:Sounds Good To Me (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518331)

This just makes me wonder where the news item was when Google indexed all these sites in the first place.

Re:Sounds Good To Me (1)

noldrin (635339) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518457)

Seeing as Google has been warn of poisoning before and refuses action, or that Google was long warned about proxy hacking and refused action, I'm not about to pat them on their back for not actually fixing their stuff and instead just trying trying to clean up the major incidents after a couple of days. If Microsoft acted like that, people would go into hysterics, let alone patting them on the back. And this comes from someone who loves Google and hates Microsoft.

all your base (2, Interesting)

Kranfer (620510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517061)

Yay! No more Malware, I always hated gettng horrible search results that hosted these things. I am glad that Google said to them, "All your base are belong to us" or maybe, "Resistance is Futile" is more along the lines I am looking for. When will their crawlers automatically disqualify ALL sites that contain malware though? That would be nifty.

Re:all your base (4, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517223)

When will their crawlers automatically disqualify ALL sites that contain malware though? That would be nifty.

I don't think it would be possible. I linked to a turing test program I wrote called "art.exe" from my Artificial Insanity [mcgrew.info] page that I hosted on another site I owned (which I since have let lapse). The only way a crawler would know that this program was benign was because it isn't listed in any of the antivirus lists of viral signatures.

What would be nice is if Google would have its crawlers automatically check pages as they crawled. If there were any known malwars the page would be blacklsted. But there's no way I can think of to flag malware that hasn't been identified as such by humans.

-mcgrew

PS:)downside would be that you couldn't find microsoft.com (Foghorn Leghorn says...)
PPS: I've been mulling over rewriting the Artificial Insanity program in javascript. But I'm having a hard time finding the time.

Re:all your base (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517283)

So google decides that one of its competitors is malware and purges all existence of them...

I'm thinking an independent body would be better deciding what is and what is not malware.

Re:all your base (4, Insightful)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517931)

Nothing (except antitrust law, maybe) stops Google from "forgetting to include" live.com in it's indexes now and this situation is quite unlikely to change in the near future. The only two reasons I think of as relevant to leave competitors in are the outrage from both the internet community and the "forgotten" competitor (perhaps culminating in lawsuits for anti-competitive behaviour, IANAL) and the desire for the own index to be perceived as fair and complete.

An independent body deciding about the malness of any ware is, if a certain responsiveness could be guaranteed, a creepy idea. Forming such a commitee would very surely be a huge leap in the direction of an often-mentioned TCPA (Palladium, NGSCB, Donkey poop)-secured blacklist society. A small aristocraty of people in this decision commitee would become the target of a trillion-dollar industry and be able to decide exactly what piece of software is ran by anybody. On the other hand, allowing anybody to participate in these votes would guarantee this operation not to be effective because of the huge delay this would cause. The same goes for adding legal ways to fight a decision by this body - having one would cause the system to become as slow as many legal systems throughout the world are today, not having one would be a surefire way to cause dissatisfaction with lots and lots of developers (both natural and legal persons).
Also, don't forget to take into account the current legal trouble e.g. encryption software is going through. I'm certain an independent body would decide similar to lawmakers throughout the world. Essentially, you could probably forget about running Linux (Open Source? That could run anything, including highly illegal tools like decss without any way to stop it), any cd/dvd copying software (It's fun to break the D-M-C-A (sung to the tune of YMCA)), nmap (Remember germany banning "Hacker tools"?) or anything else.

Sorry for painting such a dystopian future, but letting any (independent, governmental or profit-oriented) body whatsoever decide what software's good and what's bad just isn't what you, me or most anybody else wants.

Re:all your base (3, Interesting)

Nossie (753694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518169)

I do agree... and maybe an independent body would just become corrupt like the rest of them BUT.

In googles interest, they are a search engine and not a publisher and for that reason are not subject to the indexes of child porn and other illegal activity. Once google start going down the road of blocking spam and other malicious sites it could be suggested they lose the right of being an automatic aggregation engine.

All the The pirate bay does is index pointer links, all google does is index pointer links -- one of them has a safe harbour in the US and the other does not. How long before Google itself loses its 'safe harbour' ?

Re:all your base (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518071)

Well, google does provide the blacklisted phishing sites for Firefox, but no one seems to be complaining...

Re:all your base (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518387)

The onus lies with the browser not the search engine. I would love a Firefox plugin that removes patentstorm, freepatentsonline, encyclopedia britanica, elsevier and all those other for-pay parasites that clutter up the first three pages of any scientific search I do. In fact, if I don't find one soon I'm going to write and release it myself.

Re:all your base (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518911)

> The onus lies with the browser not the search engine.

What would the browser know about your search results? It's just a page
being returned via HTTP.

Most search engines offer a means of excluding domains; for example,
this will search for ``entropy'' excluding English-language Wikipedia
pages:

www.alltheweb.com/search?advanced=1&cat=web&q=entropy&dexcl=en.wikipedia.org

Re:all your base (2, Interesting)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519303)

Easy enough. Google has access to a massive amount of IP addresses and computer resources. All they need to do is set up a whole bunch of virtual machines that have no protection on them at all. Those virtual machines can start visiting indexed pages (using a rotating set of IP addresses so the target website doesn't know they're being "tested"). If a machine gets infected, it will be very easy to spot. Something will have installed on that machine. A rootkit or a adware install is fairly obvious, even to a machine. If a VM changes, and the "infection" is machine identifiable, then that site should be dropped. If the machine gets installed on, but can't identify, that site should be flagged. At that point, a human Google engineer loads a VM, visits the site, and takes a human-look at what happened. If it's A Bad Thing, they drop the site and add the signature of the install to their Kill On Site list. Then the VM gets reset, and continues on.

Re:all your base (2, Interesting)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517481)

> When will their crawlers automatically disqualify ALL sites that contain malware though?

Not possible; even disregarding the problem that other posters have raised, that the automatic recognition of novel malware is more or less impossible, most of the black hats setting up these sites have started to get really sophisticated and the servers can return different web pages based on IP addresses, and often never serve up exploits more than once to any given IP address.

Like everything in the security game, it's cat-and-mouse.

They've also changed their PageRank for many sites (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517063)

Recently (end of October) Google reordered some of their sites and dropped the PageRank on many (mine included) there was a blog post about it here [dailyblogtips.com]. My PageRank suffered immensely dropping from an overall high of 6/10 to the now 3/10. The most noticeable difference for me was that for the next two weeks (and the first time ever) I was no longer the #1 hit for: Bill Roehl, "Bill Roehl", or any variation thereof. Not only that but the first result from Google wasn't even for my root page, it was for some post I had underneath. I found that to be very odd.

Now, while I was digging through the Google results to find out why this could have possibly happened (prior to reading the blog post linked above) I found tons of SEO spam sites that my site had been linked from. I had never seen that many junk results returned before and was surprised they were getting through. I was seriously concerned that they had something to do w/my ranking drop.

At least Google is getting back on track dumping those bastards. While most people probably don't change their default settings to see anything more than the first 10 results, I am constantly looking through the first 100 on various searches and have seen more and more of that. I was wondering if some of the claims of Google's drop from #1 would imminent if something didn't change.

Re:They've also changed their PageRank for many si (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517397)

At least Google is getting back on track dumping those bastards. While most people probably don't change their default settings to see anything more than the first 10 results, I am constantly looking through the first 100 on various searches and have seen more and more of that. I was wondering if some of the claims of Google's drop from #1 would imminent if something didn't change.

Well, they may be getting back at them, but...

Ironically, Google itself refused to confirm or deny that it had cleansed its index of the more than 40,000 malware hosting sites, or even that they had existed. "Google takes the security of our users very seriously, especially when it comes to malware," a company spokeswoman said today in an e-mail. "In our search results, we try to warn users of potentially dangerous sites when we know of them. Sites that clearly exploit browser security holes to install software, such as malware, spyware, viruses, adware and Trojan horses, are in violation of the Google quality guidelines and may be removed from Google's index."

What is Google afraid of? That their stock price will plunge if everyone finds out they were manipulated by malware sites?

Re:They've also changed their PageRank for many si (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517455)

I was no longer the #1 hit for: Bill Roehl, "Bill Roehl", or any variation thereof.
Perhaps there is simply someone else who is better at being Bill Roehl than you. Don't fret, though. You can always go back to Bill Roehl School and brush up with some post-graduate Bill Roehl stuff.

Personally, I'm comfortable with the fact that I'm only the second-best me [google.com] out there. Let that other fella have his glory, because I'm never going back to the Rob Vincent Academy. I'm not going into it here, but those bastards Rob, Rob, and Rob know why.

Re:They've also changed their PageRank for many si (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517529)

It had nothing to do with that. The two sites that outranked mine were pointing back to me. That's why it made no sense.

Re:They've also changed their PageRank for many si (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21517805)

Your website hurts my eyes...

Re:They've also changed their PageRank for many si (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517645)

dropped the PageRank on many (mine included)

They also removed your /. ''homepage'', as they did with mine (for whatever reason).

search [google.de]

CC.

Re:They've also changed their PageRank for many si (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517807)

I never noticed that in my results before.

Re:They've also changed their PageRank for many si (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518325)

They seem to consider the link from there as 'spam' as they seem to have removed all those who link to a page, even a fellow who links to debian. Twenty years down the road they consider which words are appropriate and which are to be avoided (of course based on an objective a sophisticated semantic weighting scheme(tm)) to get indexed.

CC.

Re:They've also changed their PageRank for many si (1)

markswims2 (1187967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519255)

have no fear, you'll soon be back and better than ever! Bill Roehl is now being searched more than ever thanks to slashdotters.

Re:They've also changed their PageRank for many si (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520391)

Actually, I've already regained the top spot within a few weeks of that PageRank drop. My post was just talking about the general weirdness that was occurring around that time.

There have only been 12 Google Searches for [B|b]ill [R|r]oehl today though. Not nearly enough to stroke my ego ;)

I for one... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21517093)

...welcome any move towards private pwnership of IE users.

Malware -- hosting pages! (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517105)

Google had removed tens of thousands of malware - hosting pages from its index.

Wierd, usually it's tha pages that are hosting malware, rather than the other way around. OW! Stop hitting me!

The keywords .. (2, Interesting)

ninjeratu (794457) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517119)

.. do not look like random words from a generator. They look targetted too with all the references to Microsoft software, Cisco, VPN. But then .. "train a dog to fetch" and "go go go go go go go go go go go"? Anyone have any ideas as to why and how they made that list?

Re:The keywords .. (1)

Skrynesaver (994435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517269)

They seem to be targeting Accountants and DBAs who work from home today and will go back inside the corporate firewall tomorrow. Oh and dog trainers for some reason

And what's SEO? (3, Informative)

allcar (1111567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517151)

For those of you, like me, who did not immediately recognise this TLA [wikipedia.org], it stands for Search Engine Optimization [wikipedia.org].

Re:And what's SEO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519781)

For those of you who didn't recognize the language the parent post is written in, it's English [wikipedia.org] and also that thing that you're sitting on is a chair [wikipedia.org].

Censoring (5, Funny)

Fredtalk (1105765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517161)

Sounds like net censorship to me! What if I wanted to visit those malware sites?

Re:Censoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519719)

Sounds like net censorship to me! What if I wanted to visit those malware sites?

They are probably still available via archive.org and Google's cache :)

PD fucking F !!!???? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21517181)

Can somebody tell me why one would need a PDF for a list of words? WTF? So what is wrong with plain text?

I can only conclude that sunbelt software are a bunch of complete idiots and anything they have to say is worthless.

Un-fucking-believable.

Re:PD fucking F !!!???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21517227)

They are marketing towards the pointy haired crowd?

A hidden gem (5, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517255)

The pdf contains a list of 2161 popular Google search terms. This is an SEO wet dream. Thanks!

Re:A hidden gem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518999)

And when every site is "search engine optimized," it'll go back to being a level playing field.

Re:A hidden gem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519143)

Wouldn't they just be using this? [google.com]

Thousands of terms? (2, Insightful)

peipas (809350) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517289)

Is it just me or do the first five pages of "common terms" in the PDF contain the term Excel, and then the next four pages contain the term vpn? It seems to me there were two common terms in these first nine pages with random words tacked on.

Re:Thousands of terms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519025)

Wow, you're right. So, really, all you had to do was search for "excel" and "vpn" and pretty much get these malware sites.

Second to last one (1)

bchapp (905116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517319)

"if u a dog go fetch"

Re:Second to last one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21517533)

yeah, really popular search terms such as

"yo goggy go fetch dude"

But how could they miss

"fetch VPN cisco with exel jobs dudely"

Google guys (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21517321)

Google employees are quick to jump on Slashdot stories and get their spin and mods in. The "Go Google!" posts are coming in quick. The fact is that the first page of Google results has as much spam today as an AOL inbox back in 1995. The results have turned to junk.

Little difference (2, Funny)

Armakuni (1091299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517385)

From the summary: tens of thousands of Web pages hosting exploits showing up on the first page of Google searches for thousands of common terms

So, how do you tell the difference between this and any normal Google results page?

Yahoo and LiveSearch, too... (2, Informative)

Foolicious (895952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21517595)

...if my eyes and brain RTFA correctly. I recognize Google is the big(gest) player, but it's not like the purveyors of fine malware focused exclusively on Google and Google alone. It's in TFA if you're willing to take a look-see.

Humm. Who did Gates pay off this time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21517697)

No doubt that something like this has money behind it. And while Yahoo will profit from it, they have ethics. OTH, Gates has proven that he has none and anything goes. I wonder if this originated in some bastard SCO operation.

Stalinism (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518097)

What about the rights of those spammers? They're living in an impoverished third world country (Russia) and are just trying for a better life. They're no different than the home shopping network or eBay.

And you won't tolerate them. You deny them their civil rights. You deny them their FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

This is outright Stalinism. It's not their fault fat, stupid, bored, lonely Americans will buy products geared toward the intelligence of a labrador. They're just trying to feed their families... to be part of the AMERICAN DREAM.

You Stalinists and your purges, your nights of the long knives, you're endangering the freedom of all of us. If you purge spammers from Google, the terrorists win.

"Site Advisor" - any make it past it ? (1)

pg--az (650777) | more than 6 years ago | (#21518667)

For many months I have been using "Site Advisor", still free from McAfee. It works perfectly with FireFox. I searched for "Advisor" and did not find mention of it in these articles, but I would be surprised if any of these sites earned that nice green dot which I find so reassuring, am I wrong to be so reassured ?

My one wish for Google (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21518789)

Let me create a blacklist of domains that are never shown on search results.

This would then include the sites: *.cn
which would include:

bucket.rabbitexothermicsoup.cn
flight.othersittingport.cn
aggressive.xeroxmaneshop.cn

Also the top 40 search result domains for 'geforce 8800gt review' or any other product, the content of which is typically:

Reviews for Geforce 8800GT: (0)
Click here to write your review for Geforce 8800GT

So basically don't visit any sites from .cn (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519773)

That's my advice as part of the solution to cut down on malware. Of course there are millions of .com malware sites, but you can't just cut out .com. On the other hand with rare exception, most people can without penalty stay away from .cn sites.
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