“SEO#LURKER: How Cybercriminals Manipulate Google Ads and Search Results to Spread Malware”

“SEO#LURKER: How Cybercriminals Manipulate Google Ads and Search Results to Spread Malware”
  • Cybercriminals manipulate Google search results and ads to trick users into downloading malware.
  • Software such as WinSCP are being illegitimately used as a trap for users.
  • Security firm Securonix has labelled this malicious activity as SEO#LURKER.
  • An ad leads to a compromised WordPress website which further redirects the user to malicious activity.

Duping through Deceptive Downloading

If life were a computer, cybercriminals are those nasty viruses infecting the peaceful functioning systems of law-abiding citizens. This time, they have stooped to a new low, manipulating Google search results and ads to trick users looking to download legitimate software. It’s a crafty trap, but unaware users might mistake it for an incredibly intelligent AI that accidentally programmed itself into a rogue. In scarier words, in the time it takes you to exclaim “Oh, WinSCP what a drag!”, you might just be victim number… we’ve lost count.


If your antivirus was a superhero, it would be up all night keeping a lookout for SEO#LURKER, a new villain in town. Named by cybersecurity company Securonix, SEO#LURKER is the wicked evil twin who uses legitimate software like WinSCP as a bait to lure in unsuspecting users. Cue dramatic music. And let’s just say if SEO#LURKER was a pizza, it’d definitely be laden with anchovies – unexpected, unwelcome, and totally ruining your online pizza ordering experience.

The Not-So-Fun Game of Malicious Ads

Mimicking the latest level in a Super Mario game, the malicious advertisement leads you onto a compromised WordPress website. But instead of a princess in distress, you’re redirected to a whole new domain of malware

In Summary

While the world of technology resembles a sci-fi utopia, it also hosts villains like SEO#LURKER that leverage manipulated search results and bogus Google ads to unleash malware. Although it pretends to offer real software like WinSCP for download, in reality, it’s just a ploy in very poor taste. Think of it as a knockoff designer brand – looks legit, but leaves you feeling cheated. Always remember folks: don’t judge software by its download button! So, be vigilant, keep your antivirus updated, and do NOT click on suspicious links. Or you might end up solving a puzzle that you didn’t want to play in the first place.

Original Article: https://thehackernews.com/2023/11/beware-malicious-google-ads-trick.html

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