that use search engine optimization to push malicious pages into the top rankings on search engine results are on the rise in 2011, but new research from zScaler suggests that efforts to identify and block the pages are paying meager dividends.
A blog post by Web security firm zScaler notes that Google’s own data shows it spots just more than one in two malicious links served up by its search engine. Google reports that
they are flagging 52 percent of all malicious links rendered by their search
engine. When it comes to malicious links
that lead to malware infected pages, Google flags a slightly higher 57 percent.
Still, this only accounts for 44 percent of all spam across the Web, zScaler says.
Search engine optimization proved to be a popular tool for malicious hackers in 2010. Malicious Web sites sprung up to capitalize on everything from the World Cup to the Stuxnet worm, while reports noted SEO campaigns pushing traffic to fake search engines and malicious Android mobile applications.
Despite a drop in
the spam results per search, researchers are still finding Blackhat SEO spam
links within the first page of many Google searches, and it appears as if the
total amount of such spam across the Web is up. Overall though, Google has
improved the situation by decreasing the prevalence of spam results on the
first page of their searches, zScaler notes.