Google Adwords being exploited by criminals

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google_adwords.gifGoogle’s keyword advertising program is being exploited by cyber criminals, according to security firm Exploit Prevention Labs.

The crooks are purchasing adverts that relate to legitimate businesses and then redirecting unsuspecting users to sites that attempt to install malware on the user’s computer.

At the beginning of the month, the security firm discovered that a known criminal group had registered the domain Smarttracker.org and opened a Google Adwords account a little over a week later, buying campaigns for popular search terms.

While the adverts displayed a trusted URL, any users clicking on the links were redirected through the Smarttracker.org site first, before being sent on to the proper destination. Google has since terminated the offending account.

Exploit Prevention Labs claims its LinkScanner software can provide protection against such attacks.

Will Head