Ransomware Gangs Use SEO Poisoning to Infect Visitors

SEO poisoning is on the rise and is currently being used by two well-known ransomware gangs Gootloader and SolarMarket to serve payloads on targets.

The practice is an attack method based on the optimization of websites using ‘black hat’ SEO techniques to place higher in Google search results.

According to security researchers in Menlo, the optimized pages appear in search results as PDFs that are clicked by users to download a document after clicking the prompt.

Clicking on the download button redirects users through a number of websites that ultimately drop a malicious payload.

Researchers also found that instead of having a malicious site instead, they hacked legitimate WordPress sites that has a good Google search ranking, and they do this by exploiting an undisclosed flaw in the “Formidable Forms” WordPress plugin.

Those using the above plugin are asked to upgrade to version 5.0.10 or higher.

IT World Canada Staff
IT World Canada Staff
The online resource for Canadian Information Technology professionals.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

ITW in your inbox

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

More Best of The Web