Blackhat SEO Trick-or-Treat

It’s the time of year for tricks and treats, and blackhat SEOs are getting in on the Halloween festivities with the virtual equivalent of toilet-papering trees or smashing pumpkins. Blackhat SEO 

tactics are not new, but it is worth exercising more than your due diligence during major events and holidays.

Any time you conduct a search, it is likely that several of the top results are malicious. This is especially true if you are searching for trending topics.
If you click on the infected site, you could inadvertently allow Trojans carrying various forms of malware into your system. Appropriately enough, blackhat SEOs are targeting Halloween keywords, including costumes, decorations, pumpkin carving patterns or pictures, and invitations.  In fact, one free printable Halloween party invitation urges you to click on the video, presumably to access the invitation. If you click on the video link, you will be told you need to install an updated codec (codecs are needed to compress and decompress video). The codec is really a trojan, and enter the virus.

According to PandaLabs, you will also want to be careful when searching for information on Halloween movies, specifically Paranormal Activity 2. Films are favorite targets for blackhat SEOs, and they use the increased interest to create malicious websites in order to spread viruses and other forms of malware. Rogue antivirus programs are particularly virulent; while they do not actually infect a computer, per se, they may terrorize a user into purchasing useless software.

Make sure you have a reliable, updated security program and be cautious when going to a site with which you are unfamiliar. Computer users are urged to use caution when opening links, particularly shortened links. And when the horrors of Halloween are over, get ready for the blackhat Christmas season.

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