Friday, 04 July 2014 00:00

Hacking, Scamming and Black Hat SEO at the World Cup

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    Hacking, Scamming and Black Hat SEO at the World CupThe 2014 FIFA World Cup 2014 started three weeks ago, and so far everything's been going smoothly but it isn't devoid of problems.

    The worldwide event faced stiff criticism from Brazilian protesters, and the “hacktivist” group Anonymous, which decided to do something about it. If you're an English fan, you might no longer be concerned at all, given England's early exit, but still, you should be vigilant. Why? There are a lot of evildoers in the Internet, and you could be their next target

    Anonymous – DDOS attacks on FIFA and the sponsors

    Anonymous Brasil, the Brazilian branch of Anonymous, started a hacking spree a few weeks ago, successfully taking down the World Cup website. This in turn caused the website to be offline for three hours – if it were an e-commerce site, it would have lost massive profits. They're main purpose of doing so is to protest the poverty and corruption of government officials in Brazil, along with police brutality.

    The hackers used DDOS, Anonymous' signature method. It involves using a network of infected computers to simultaneously fire traffic onto a website, which may make it collapse. Although the hacking campaign never did major damage, the group claimed to have stolen passwords from the Brazilian federal police and even went as far as posting them online.

    Anyway, the World Cup is progressing smoothly, and since the attack on the World Cup website weeks ago, no further damage has been reported. All in all, this campaign is doomed to fail: FIFA's websites have taken the necessary steps to prevent further attacks.

    “Phishing” and Baiting

    It's only a few hours before the quarterfinal matches of Germany and France followed by the hosts Brazil and dark horses Colombia. As of today, the Google searches, social media interactions, as well as news sites and blogs that published content pertaining to this subject matter has reached fever pitch. Everyone's excited, and so are the scammers.

    By looking at the trends and hashtags in various social media websites, you will see people sharing various content. Be wary of a link before clicking: it might lead to a website that will infect your computer with malicious software which may even be able to steal information, like credit card numbers, from you. This may also happen on your e-mail inbox: be wary of unscrupulous e-mails!

    Protect your computer or mobile device by not clicking on these links, while only going to legitimate websites. Look up news articles from acclaimed news websites and blogs, and only look for videos on YouTube and trusted video websites: don't click on the links on the videos, especially if the domain name is suspicious.

    Black Hat SEO

    The most practiced black-hat SEO method scammers and hackers practice is cloaking, which is done by coaxing the user to click on a website providing a certain type of content while presenting them with another. Like phishing and baiting, this coaxes the users to click on phony websites, even without users knowing. Sometimes, these sites pose as e-commerce websites, stealing planting malicious software on the unwary user's computer. Although Google has taken the necessary steps to take these down, there are still a number of them waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting users.

    Read 786 times Last modified on Thursday, 31 July 2014 10:59
    Jason Williams

    Jason Williams founded Joint Plan after a successful 17 year career in Corporate IT to return to his roots in small business, where change and improvement has a more significant and positive impact for the small business owner and their employees.