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Malware Link Farms and Other SEO Threats

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 08-16-2010 Print
Legitimate search engine optimization tactics are being hijacked by malware perpetrators. Here's what your organization can do to protect itself.
Black hat search engine optimization (SEO) boosts the rankings of compromised or malicious web pages on services such as Google and Bing. There are three main ways black hats go about search optimization, according to Marc Fossi, Manager of Research and Development for Symantec Security Response:
  • keyword stuffing
  • cloaking
  • link farming

Cloaking is where content is created specifically for search engine crawlers and is hidden from normal view. Link farming is a network of interconnected pages with false content designed to look reputable to Google and other search engines in order to boost search rankings.

Protecting your enterprise against SEO skullduggery requires a mix of URL filtering and content inspection, as well as malware detection technologies. In addition, Web site administrators should make sure their sites are not vulnerable to compromise by attackers looking for legitimate sites to host their scheme.

Want to learn more? Check out eWeek's inside look at How Black Hat SEO Abuses Search Engines.


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