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Sponsored search results lead to malware

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Yes it's dangerous to search for security products on net & as reported one will end only on rogue sites mostly. To avoid one can ask for advise from friends or co-workers.

Another tip: you can search reputed sites such as cnet, softpedia, brothersoft like that, if one doesn't know the exact name of the security soft.

Thanks AdvancedSetup for posting the link.

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Nice Read AdvancedSetup.....

Not only that, we have to be protected against ourselves and typo's. If you misspell a site you are trying to go to, you may end up at a malicious site as well....

I cant even count how many folks I have talked to that got infected and they took it upon themselves to try and fix it only to make matters worst be being scammed like this.

Now when I recommend the site to them I send them an email with the exact link to what I want them to download.

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Yeah, I have always marveled at some of the links that come up when searching for things. Good publicity for MBAM and hpHosts though :lol:

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Thanks for the great article, Ron :lol:

I'll pass it along to all that I know!

It's too bad for the legitimate companies, though, that sponsored links can be dangerous. I'm sure its causing them to lose out, but I'd rather be safe than risk clicking on a sponsored link, or any link that I am unsure of for that matter.

I agree w. Swagger, definitely makes excellent publicity and public knowledge of Malwarebytes and HPHosts :lol:

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Great find Ron. :lol:

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Yeah, I have always marveled at some of the links that come up when searching for things. Good publicity for MBAM and hpHosts though :lol:

That article resulted in a bit of hardship for Steven (MysteryFCM) but he recovered:

http://forum.hosts-file.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1741

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@ YoKenny1

Oh wow! Thanks for the link.

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good find!!!

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Nasty stuff and unfortunately common practice. I'm glad that MBAM exists to fight this nastiness since the search providers clearly aren't going out of their way to stop it.

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Oh man!!! What a link to your site can do! Sorry to hear that Steven, but look on the bright side, it's for the right reasons...

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There must be a way that genuine resellers can be identified - A seller ## or similar- If the 'bogus' (fake) sellers are allowed to continue then you may lose some of the real people that resell MBAM, and even though there is little profit in it for them, they should be given some "Trademark/Logo" to show they are legal - :lol:

I personally know of 2 who are legal resellers and they say business has been slow - They may need to refer back to this site (or similar sites) :lol: as the only legal sites - And have a Quote # to show where the client was sent from in order to get the fee for resale ?? - :lol:

This only applies if you want more than just c Net as a reseller !!

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There must be a way that genuine resellers can be identified ...

There is. We don't come up in the sponsored links. We come up in the real search results. Since 90% of computer users don't know the difference, and search companies aren't about to explain it to them, a good amount of people fall for these scams.

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Hmm, turn off your adblocker and reevaluate what is a reputed site. You might get a shock. Softpedia?, Im close to say even without ads!, other popular download centrals? not even close. Sites dealing with security, like a removal forum - absolutely not. Logic of receiving income but having no responsibility for ad-content is very common among site admins worldwide. Usually not the most popular topic to bring up. Some say it straight out, like "If you dont like Google Ads go sue them". Which is how it is. Ads are income so cant be touched. How to monetize without risking serving crap must be the question rarely anyone is interested in. Google is holy so only answer is personal adblocking but not always approved of either, and backside of adblocking could be whitewashing of content which might not go down so well.

Not that hard finding legit regular ads which trigger Malwarebytes and other programs. pcrunsfast.com, pcdocpro.com, spywareremove.com, regtool.com, freeregistryfix.com, 1clickpcfix.com I will assume could be targets. Matter of definition but must at least be worthy of "highly questionable" label. Took a whole minute to write those down from 2 of the more popular malware removal forums. Problem spelled out I think.

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I messed up forum. Added that ads-boxes on forums and sites with log-in often go away if you are a member. Is the case for those 2 I found. But problem does not vanish.

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Maybe I'm missing something here, but in order to place an Ad on a site like google, someone would have to pay money, and Google would have a billing address. Why isn't the FBI knocking on the door of this billing address?

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Why isn't the FBI knocking on the door of this billing address?

The world is not perfect.

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Money rules. But Google also in StopBadware, make attack/phishing filters for Chrome and Firefox. Must be walking on a thin line and be careful own browser dont block ads :) I dont think they are interested in pimping crappy sites but may be impossible to control such a beast. Others will say this is just Google showing how evil they are! Is a can of worm to think about. When is a product or ad a scam, malicious like in should be stopped and when just sign of free market - people have the opportunity be to taken advantage of. I still think something is wrong when a removal forum or supposedly quality based software central and highly questionable software ads are a natural mix. Such a good example but nothing special, just how machinery works. Can probably find the same in other segments of market place as well.

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My only real issue with Google isn't the fact that they're reaping profits from the malicious ads, it's that when the malicious ads get reported as malicious, Google does nothing about it. In my opinion this shows a lack of concern for the users of their services.

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My only real issue with Google isn't the fact that they're reaping profits from the malicious ads, it's that when the malicious ads get reported as malicious, Google does nothing about it. In my opinion this shows a lack of concern for the users of their services.

It's due to 'MONOPOLY'.

From Wikipedia:

In economics, a monopoly exists when a specific individual or an enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it.

Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition for the goods or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods.

The verb "monopolize" refers to the process by which a firm gains persistently greater market share than what is expected under perfect competition.

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http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2...me-malware.html

Google good - Google bad :) and same can be said for those who administrate Google Ads on their own sites. Problem is "how to monetize?" collides with "how to avoid threats?" Problem is known so threats are to be expected, does not make many seek other ways of advertising. That is the battle, money could not care less about impact of actions as long as result can be counted in $$$. Taking action like dumping automated ad delivery mean less revenue so not an option. Also why you rarely see affiliate linkmania explained in bold on frontpage btw, same monetizing logic. No one is forced to use Google ads though it seems that way. They could of course clean up own search pages but wont make problem of questionable ads go away. Must be careful not to blaim Google for all evils, just the biggest player in this field.

exile360, I dont know about their reporting system but if you look at Badwarebusters forum you see Google don't hesitate to flag whole sites as bad. Why the new feature to test somewhat in Webmaster Central service, see link. Often site admins are ??? They actually do take action and so we can conclude security is top priority :) Perhaps you talk about something else like complaining over approved scam ads? Probably comes down to the question of how to acknowledge a threat. Possible Google require visible proof like malicious code having direct impact. Or problem is similar Malwarebytes vs. some other scanners - legit code doing no harm as such but intend and result of usage is 100% scam, so removal or blocking take place. If someone wants to sell fake Malwarebytes go for it - Ive seen one for paid ComboFix btw. Then Google play the big neutral organizer of worlds information and ads = anything goes or money rules :) Even if they improved pre-scanning of ads Im sure there will always be slips due to the size of Google. Does not seem hard to find right now though, must be more than slips. Anyway, what seems obvious to people on a security forum might give headaches when in a business based on cash flow, revenue, clicks. Google might agree to take down a fake Malwarebytes ad (did they?) but I think they will be reluctant to automate such blocking, having much more filtering than "malicious code". Difference to phishing filter is? Also merely attempts to make money, not necessarily any evil code included. I dont know, ask Google but I can understand they don't just hire hphost dude and let him loose on Index :)

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I understand Google's priority is money, that's largely true for any business that wants to be successful, but many of those ads don't just link to fake security products. Some do actually contain malicious code, like trojan droppers that install rogues, which is my main concern. The scams are secondary and certainly require research and verification as there's no way to automate checking to see if a scanner is legit or not. Most of the pages Google flags as potentially harmful with their filter are third party sites, not ads that they show, that have been hacked to contain malicious code such as embedded scripts and driveby downloads, but it seems they don't even screen their own advertisers' sites for such malicious code, which they do sometimes contain.

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May be they have system set up so unless X domain is included in attack/phishing filter it is not even scanned and so approved? That way they dont risk own and affiliated browser blocking own ads, and advertising machinery can run smoothly once it is go go go. Google filters are pretty good but no where near 100% hence we see these incidents. May be they should have a talk with WOT?

Not really seen anything directly malicious in Google ads, think Ive heard about it though, but I also only have one definition which is crap or not. Dont really separate or believe it is a hopeless task to filter non-malicious code. Google have the money! Outsource task to China, they know how to filter. Dont see why any rouges/scams should be white listed or taken lightly because code is not proven harmful. Directly malicious = the more reason to block of course but basically all the same. If rare I guess they can wiggle out of that by referring to scale of things and they actually do block tons of ads already. Well, bottom line is none of this should not be on search pages or indirectly on 1000s of sites.

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May be they should have a talk with WOT?
No doubt :) .
Not really seen anything directly malicious in Google ads, think Ive heard about it though, but I also only have one definition which is crap or not.
The situations you referenced earlier (the fake Malwarebytes' etc) is actually copyright infringement since its name is trademarked, I've seen many such rogues on Google.
Dont really separate or believe it is a hopeless task to filter non-malicious code. Google have the money! Outsource task to China, they know how to filter. Dont see why any rouges/scams should be white listed or taken lightly because code is not proven harmful. Directly malicious = the more reason to block of course but basically all the same. If rare I guess they can wiggle out of that by referring to scale of things and they actually do block tons of ads already. Well, bottom line is none of this should not be on search pages or indirectly on 1000s of sites.
Agreed, but I guess they'd rather have that sweet money coming in from the malware makers. I'm not saying I expect 100% clean, that's impossible for anyone, but it seems they aren't even trying most of the time :) .

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With directly malicious I meant sorry attempt to run code injection, fake scanners and such. Most rouge sites are lying from page 1 and onwards. Fake credentials etc. Lose relationship to copyrights is no worse than having a fake icon showing whatever site has declared product fantastic - or just more of the same. If I was employed by Malwarebytes or a lawyer I would disagree what main issue is, heh. Main scam is of course misuse of another product but everything is just fake, fake, fake. How severe and what legal actions can be taken is another matter.

No, considering Google do a lot to make site admins aware of internet dangers they could do more with their own stuff. But I still say problem sticks deeper than focusing on Google own search pages. Or turn off your adblocker if in doubt. As an admin you are told you should use Google ads, even on a little blog "make money with Google! - any idiot will know that is first thing to set up properly on just about any site, but Im not sure I buy that. Some sites are fully aware of potentially harmful ads and yet continue which in my book means they dont care. They accept to sleep with problem because of money. Google should take all blaim? Who forces Google ads? They need to be told whatever is unacceptable, get a hint this must be looked in to, improved. If admins of the world just close eyes while jumping at basic "SEO", try to save butt by having a little note about it in TOS, like "sue Google if you dont like what you see" not much is going to change. Google is not the only part counting money. Could be they need to get finger out and deserve to be mentioned at Window Secrets but they are not alone. Their big trick is "sharing" of interests, why so many learn to love Google! Why I said it is not the most popular issue to bring up - many feel stepped on. You can try complain on a popular website plastered with ads, I wish you luck! Do not want to be told but as Google they dont mind collecting money... Not so complicated but many "valid" points of view explaining why. If srtools1980y is right about monopoly then what to do? Since not being responsible for any site or service it is easy to declare BS. Call a spade a spade.

Try make this site put Google ads on frontpage, in between forum posts even ( a big NO NO in the "old" days, now accepted due to evolution of marketing!) - just to check what content will be. May be there will be fake Malwarebytes ads on malwarebytes.org :) How funny and crazy.

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