Malicious hackers spend quite a bit of time gaming the Internet search engines
in a bid to have their malware-laden sites turn up on the first page of search results for hot, trending news
topics. Increasingly, though, computer criminals also are taking steps to block search engines bots from indexing legitimate Web pages that have been hacked and booby-trapped with hostile code.
Search giants Yahoo!
each have automated programs that crawl millions of Web sites each week in search of those hosting malicious code. When the search providers find these sites, they typically append a warning to the hacked Web site’s listing in search results, alerting the would-be visitor that the site could be dangerous. These warnings not only result in fewer people visiting infected sites, but they have a tendency to alert a listed site’s owners to a malware problem that needs attention.