Argentinean Government Sites Used in Blackhat SEO

Security firm, Sucuri, have reported that as many as a dozen Argentinean government sites have been used in “spamdexing” by black hat SEO campaigns.  As is always the goal of BHSEO, the use of

these official sites is intended to manipulate search engine results, drawing viewers to malicious sites.  Black hat SEOs were able to hack into the government’s sites and use the links as part of their link farm to achieve favorable search rankings.  Similar spamdexing has been widely seen in Brazil.

The black hat SEOs create links within the legitimate government sites, targeting medications used to treat depression and erectile dysfunction, as well as pain relievers.  When internet users search for one of these terms, such as “cialis,” results would include the .gov sites that people automatically trust.  The infected sites also harbor malware, according to Sucuri.  In many cases, Google had blacklisted the sites or provided advisories to searchers indicating that the sites harbored malware that could install software into your computer without your knowledge.

While Sucuri is not entirely sure how hackers were able to access the sites, they believe that many of the sites were using obsolete versions of WordPress and were not taking enough preventative security measures.  The real danger, though, as stated in Sucuri’s blog:  What’s more scary than the SPAM itself, is that these sites are hacked and nobody is noticing it or taking any action to clean them up.”

When searching, it always behooves one to use proper scanning equipment: according to Sucuri, most of the malware is easily detectable by routine programs.

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