The world of cyberattacks has become very advanced lately, so much so that an entire industry has formed around these malicious acts due to the fact that this is the kind of thing that could potentially end up improving the quality of these attacks and providing malicious actors with many additional sources of revenue. The most popular of these services is called Black Hat SEO, and companies offering it have had success getting phishing sites to rank higher in SERPs than legitimate websites.
With all of that said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the tactics implemented by these Black Hat SEO companies are unethical at best and illegal at worst. Despite this being the case, their use of keyword stuffing and fake paid links manages to trick the algorithm into giving them a better ranking. Search engines like Google try to mitigate this by quickly removing domains that use such practices, but malicious actors have found a way around this.
They can very effectively change their domain name and the temporary boost they get from their SEO rankings helps propagate the phishing attacks they attempt to carry out. The scale with which Black Hat SEO is performed is quite staggering, with one website having as many as 177,105 bogus links leading to it according to a security firm by the name of Cybersixgill.
These malicious actors often target company employees using keywords they might search for. Even if these sites don’t manage to stick around for very long, the massive number of links means that these malicious actors take a few victims with each domain and that adds up considerably over time.
Avoiding websites you don’t know and viewing forms you’re asked to fill out with skepticism can help protect you from these attacks. Businesses face a growing threat of phishing, as it can often cause them to lose access to official accounts.
Vector by roserodionova/freepik
Read next: How do browsers detect counterfeit websites and domain names? A complex solution to a simple problem