Mal/SEORed Description

Type: Hacktool

Mal/SEORed is a browser hijacker used to change results in search engine queries in order to drive traffic to particular websites. Browser hijackers such as Mal/SEORed are being used in combination with a technique known as search engine poisoning in order to generate traffic for low quality websites and expose computer users to malware and to known online scams. Fortunately, Mal/SEORed redirects can be blocked with the help of a reliable anti-malware program. Unfortunately for computer users, search engine poisoning can only be blocked by the search engines themselves. However, Mal/SEORed redirects can be stopped by using a strong anti-malware application.

Why Criminals Use Mal/SEORed and Other Malicious Techniques to Control Search Results

Most online traffic for a website comes from search engine results. Because of this, managing to position a website near the top of search results can allow a website to increase its traffic exponentially and the advertising revenue that comes from the increased web traffic. Unfortunately, criminals use Mal/SEORed to force computer users to visit their websites by changing the links in search results so that they direct computer users to malicious websites rather than to the websites related to the search result that was altered.

Understanding the Role of Mal/SEORed Web Pages in Online Scams

Some security programs will block access to certain websites, identifying them as Mal/SEORed. This means that those websites are associated with browser redirects or browser hijackers, typically in the form of JavaScript browser hijackers. Whenever the victim visits a Mal/SEORed website, the victim is redirected to another website. These websites may attack the victim's computer using an exploit kit or a Trojan in order to infect the victim with malware. Mal/SEORed websites can also be used to direct computer users to websites promoting known scams. Some scams commonly associated with Mal/SEORed websites include the following:

  • Shady online pharmacies
  • Websites offering payday loans and other suspicious credit offers
  • Web pages promoting fake security software
  • Illegal online casinos
  • Websites containing pornographic content

However, the most dangerous type of website associated with Mal/SEORed will typically use the BlackHole exploit kit. This exploit kit attempts to take advantage of various vulnerabilities simultaneously in order to infect the victim's computer with malware. This can then be used to install a Trojan on the victim's computer or to steal the victim's online banking credentials or other sensitive information.

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