Searches on Bing returned five times more links to malicious websites than Google searches, according to an 18-month study from German independent testing lab AV-Test.
The study concluded that while all the search engines the lab evaluated delivered malware, Google delivered the least. It was followed by Bing, which returned five times as many malware sites than Google. Yandex, the Russian website, delivered 10 times as many malicious sites.
To move their malware-ridden spawn to the top of Google’s search results, the bad guys are using tried and true search engine optimization tactics—the very same used by corporations and bloggers. According to AV-Test, the attackers use a very simple trick, “they first create a multitude of small websites and blogs before selecting the most frequently used search terms from top news stories and using backlinks to optimise these terms for search engines.”
The study went on to say that users “are the least suspicious” when they see a search result attached to a hot news story. More troublingly, AV-Test reports that sites with Trojans or other malware are returned as “top” results.