If you want to be a successful scam artist/cyber crook, you need to; look the part, act the part, offer a product that appears genuine, and perhaps most importantly – advertise in readily available and trusted media.
So, if you want to succeed in the $105 BILLION “Internet shadow economy”, as my good friend TechPaul calls it, advertising on an Internet search engine could be a major step in helping you reach your goals.
Why an Internet search engine? Well, if one were to poll a group of typical Internet users as to the safety and reliability of search engine results, including the pervasive ads that search engines sprout; there is little doubt that the answer would be positive. In a sense search engines impart instant legitimacy.
Part of the process of offering a product that appears to be genuine, would include producing and promoting a Web site that instills confidence in those unlucky enough to click on your ad such as the site pictured below for ErrorRepairTOOL, a notoriously misleading application .
But hold on! Given that search engine results can be manipulated (see “Search Engine Results – Malware Heaven!” on this site), it is reasonable to ask the question – why aren’t typical Internet users aware of this situation?
The obvious answer is – search engines make little or no effort to educate their users in the risks involved in relying on advertisements appearing in their applications. As a consequence, the typical user I come into contact with believes search engine output to be untainted, and free of potential harmful exposure to malware.
Fact: Consumer confidence in the strength and reliability of search engine results, particularly ads is seriously misplaced.
For example ErrorRepairTOOL (the site pictured earlier), a “scareware” application developed to mislead uninformed computer users’ into downloading and paying for the “full” version of this bogus software, based on the false positives generated by the application, has been “advertised” for months on a number of leading search engines.
I shudder when I think of the huge numbers of surfers who have suffered the consequences of accepting a download of this misleading application.
If you are one of the unlucky computer users’ who is struggling with the chaos caused by this “scareware”, visit 411-spyware.com, a great site that specializes in helping those who have been manipulated into installing Rogue software.
Fact: Failure to protect the Internet, which by definition is an open network, has substantial penalties ranging from productivity decreases, infrastructure compromise, to a failure in consumer confidence and more.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – an argument can be made, that the Internet has turned into a playground for cyber-criminals.
So will search engine providers address the issues described in this article? Sure, but only when malicious hackers finally force them to. Great business model!!