A very valid question that comes up all the time is “how do people get infected with malware” or “how do people lost personal information?” and there are so many ways that people are blown away by some of the examples I show them.
Today I came across one nice one again… Malicious Ad’s or Search Engine Poisoning… I used coinbase for some bitcoin activities and I wanted to transfer some bitcoins. So I typed in “bitcoin” into google and this is what came up
So far so good and everything looks great. I now just click on the first link as this is an ad where someone pays Google money and Google not being evil, must mean that this is good, right? wrong.
All visual signs suggest that this is legitimate and the URL goes to google.com, but that should be ok as well, right? A look at the source reveals that this goes to google before it goes to one URL shortener to another URL shortener and then to the final destination!)
Luckily it was already known that this site is up to no good, as this server did hold a number of “nice” phishing pages designed to steal your bitcoin wallet information. With the current price of over 120 USD for one bit coin, that could be a very lucrative business
Some examples are:
Approximately 1h after notifying google, the malicious ad was gone, but please make sure you double-check where you click on.