And the leader according to the highly non-scientific research done using Google for a specific attack vector is: Barack Obama. Obama related sites have managed to get infected in such a way that they attack their visitors in 364 separate instances, while McCain is right behind with 230 instances.
As always, and as we have reported in the past, those behind eCrime are watching the news as diligently as the rest of us and are “affected” by current affairs in terms of the ways they tune their attack vector to achieve maximum exposure to their target market. The financial situation, jobs, housing, and now the US elections are causing a shift in the context of the sites targeted to carry malicious code and perform web attacks in order to gain as many “eyeballs” as possible.
Now, given that this example is just the tip of the iceberg, and only gives a general idea on one specific attack vector, the conclusion is pretty obvious in terms of the global magnitude of having relevant sites infected with Malweb. Do the math, Google’s own tools enable some pretty insightful data into the search trends (and thus the chances that a site that comes up in one of the first 100 results of such search terms) both for sociological and technological studies, as well as for eCrime market reach optimization.
(Image showing Google’s trends search volume for the phrases “john mccain” and “barack obama”)
Now that’s why security research is a little more than just playing cat-and-mouse with a technological attack or a new vulnerability. Security research is also the understanding of how the motive and MO of the attackers work in order to be prepared for the next wave and the next technological advancements.