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Sanjay Katkar

New Google search bots are smarter, are they smart enough to avoid misuse?

November 3, 2011
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Google seems to have recently updated its Google Search services. Among the many new features, the one that is most important from the point of view of a malicious user, is its capability to read through user comments. Googlebots are now capable of reading dynamic comments on websites posted by users. Most of the framework (or engine) that helps users to post comments is based on JavaScript and was not visible to search bots before this latest change. Google seems to have overcome this challenge as its search bots are now able to execute JavaScript or AJAX components and read through dynamic comments which are then indexed in the search results. As a result, this will now lead to new Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques by online marketing machineries and at the same time this could be misused by cyber criminals as well.

Anybody who tracks issues related to Internet security is aware that cyber criminals use SEO techniques to improve the positioning of infected links in the search results of Google Search. Hence this new capability of Google Search bots can easily be misused by cyber criminals to influence the listing of their malicious links in search results. This can be achieved by carrying out automated posting of trending topics in user comment sections (that are not monitored) and including links to various compromised websites. We need to wait and watch as it is inevitable that such instances will start taking place over the Internet.

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Sanjay Katkar
About Sanjay Katkar
Sanjay Katkar is the Joint Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer of Quick Heal Technologies Limited. He holds a Masters in Computer Science from University...
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