A GOOGLE watchdog site has barked the claim that the search engine has been hacked by a spammer.
The Google Watchdog says here that the spammer wormed their way into the Google index without being caught. And suddenly some searches began returning a large number of Chinese sites.
These sites are often nicked content from legitimate US websites but the legitimate sites are being ranked below the scammed ones.
When a punter clicks on one of the .cn sites they are sent to an entirely different page which attempts to install one or more pieces of malware on the user's computer.
The .cn sites do not appear to be hosted anywhere so it is not clear how they got onto the Google rankings.
The Google Watchdog whines suggestively that the the faked sites are redirecting the Googlebot to a location where content can be indexed, while at the same time recognising normal users and redirecting them to a site that includes the malware.
Having a snoop around, it appears that there are all sorts of theories as to how the spammer might have managed it. These range from an inside job to using BotNets 'clicking' as independent IP addresses links that boost their page rank.
No word from Google yet. µ
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