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Using Google Search to Find Software Can Be Risky

January 27, 2024
Krebs on Security
Contributed by: Drex DeFord
Summary
Google struggles with cybercriminals exploiting its search platform with ads distributing malware-laced software applications. Despite a dedicated team and reductions in these threats, bad ads linked to malware persist. Search results often feature malicious ads, tricking users into downloading harmful software versions. The cybercriminals constantly evolve methods to evade Google's anti-abuse radar. Some malicious domains imitate popular software titles to deceive users. The malicious download sites regularly alternate between serving benign and harmful software. Google has removed violating ads and will continue to enforce its protections. Site-blocking by Google's Safebrowsing technology exists but has not been fully applied. Google removed 5.2 billion ads and suspended over 6.7 million accounts in 2022.
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