Posted on | June 23, 2012 | 3 comments
In the world we live in today, individual consumers must continue to bear a major burden for self protection on the Internet. Blue Coat malware expert Chris Larsen, who helped design K-9 Web Protection, a terrific free parental control tool, offers these tips for staying on high alert regarding poisoned search results.
1.) For text searches, look at the two lines of “flavor text” that Google and Bing display. Look for disjointed, random text, like it was mashed up by a computer (because it was).
2.) Look at the Domain name. Is it one you’ve heard of? Does it seem to have something to do with the topic you were searching for?
3.) Google now has a “preview” feature, where text-search results have a little button to the right that looks like this: >> If you hover your mouse on it, it will display an image of the page. This lets you see if the page “looks legit”. (Until now, the Bad Guys didn’t have to worry about how their poisoned pages looked, since humans never saw them.)
4.) Know a little bit about “Top Level Domains” (TLDs). There are a lot of two-letter TLDs assigned to specific countries: .RU = Russia, .IN = India, etc. If you’re searching for a US-culture topic, like Halloween costume ideas, or Thanksgiving recipes, or Christmas decorations, and your search returns results on .RU or .IN, etc., ask yourself if it’s likely that a site hosted there would really have good content about your search topic.
5.) Use K9 on your computer, since it will block many of the malnets that run SEP-based attacks.
6.) The next time you need to search for something, try out k9safesearch.com. The search results you get by using this search engine, instead of Google or Bing, are filtered by Blue Coat’s security and privacy technologies.