back to article Google Instant a potential bonanza for search scams

Security watchers are concerned that scareware scammers may quickly adapt to the introduction of real-time search technology from Google to develop even more potent search engine poisoning attacks. Google Instant speeds up search results by working as users type into the Google search box. The technology predicts what users are …

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So..?

Typing "anti" into Google without Instant turned on brings up the same suggestion, what's the difference except a few line spaces?

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Silver badge

Yeah, what he said

Since this seem to be simply a faster way of displaying the same results - what's the story? How is just returning the same stuff faster a greater security risk? It may be of course, but please explain.

To be honest, I'd be more interested in some details on how the hell Google manage to do multiple searches on such completely random phrases and update the display in REAL TIME. That's much more interesting.

As to the system itself, I quite like it.

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Anonymous Coward

The difference...

Personally I like the new google instant, but i believe the risk is that scareware people might try and target substrings of the desired search term, after all who would search for 'anti' when looking for anti-virus? With the old-style search you'd just finish typing -virus and then run your search.

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antivir solution pro

What does it matter if Google suggests you might be looking for info about antivir solution pro as long as the results it gives aren't related to downloading it. Not to mention this is a feature of Google Suggest that has been around for years, rather than Google Instant released yesterday.

Here's the top sites Google suggests:

Remove Antivir Solution Pro, removal instructions

Remove Antivir Solution Pro (Uninstall Guide)

How To Uninstall / Remove Antivir Solution Pro Virus (Removal ...

How to uninstall / remove Antivir Solution Pro (Virus Removal ...

How to Remove Antivir Solution Pro (Removal Instructions) | Faster ...

Remove Antivir Solution Pro

Remove Antivir Solution Pro - Get Rid of Antivir Solution Pro in ...

Antivir Solution Pro is a fake antispyware program made to steal ...

There may be some valid examples of Google Suggest or Instant promoting links to dangerous sites. I'm not convinced your example was one of them.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

I think I'd be more suspicious...

Of someone working for "Panda solutions", than this interesting change by Google.

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FAIL

Don't Get It?

Don't get what the problem is? You only get the results you would have got once you hit return?

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Nah

No you don't - you get separate searches for each character you type.

So to search for anti-virus - you get 10 separate searches (if you're a quick typer you might not notice this):

a

an

ant

anti

anti-

anti-v

anti-vi

anti-vir

anti-viru

anti-virus

Now if a malware distributor optimises their dodgy site for the keyword "anti" - there's your problem. With a classic search this wouldn't matter because the keyword is the full "anti-virus". Even if they optimised for "anti-virus" they'd probably still be way down the rankings.

But with the instant search keywords are different now. Anti-virus companies don't (currently) optimise for "anti."

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Responsive sites are evil

That's why I try to make all of my sites as slow and bloated as possible. Sometimes users ask me to speed things up, but I just tell them it's for their own good.

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Silver badge

Not sure you got the "Blackhat SEO" bit right...

...as I understood it,, 'Blackhat SEO' refers to the methods you use to promote your site (against Google rules, fast temporary results, heavy reliance on automated comment-spamming software) rather than the contents of the site itself.

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Paris Hilton

Blacklist The Barstewards

You'd think Google would just pay a small, full-time blacklisting army to deal with these crooks. Oh no, hang on...

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So

This is like SEO?

Pushing your link to the top?

Well I never.

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FAIL

Couldn't delete fast enough

Experienced this for the first time this morning, it is very very annoying, fortunately google supply a link so you can turn the damn feature off.

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Thumb Down

What an entirely ridiculous mis-informed story

... rest of rant goes here

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This post has been deleted by its author

FAIL

heh

"Two words: No Script for Firefox"

Think you might need to go back to school buddy (:

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it's spreading

There seems to be a run of FUD from the AV outfits at the moment. Sophos has a different spin of the same idea recently: Armies of "blackhat SEOs" monitoring g.trends to push scamware. Their examples were equally poor.

David McMahon said "No Script turns instant off too :)".. err, so does turning of instant search.

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Scary as hell...

...but not for the reasons mentioned in the article.

Google is reading your mind! Google will learn from what you type, as you type, learning from its mistakes, providing what you want before you've even finished typing it in. Then ofc it will use this against us in the impending war. Mark my words...

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