February 26, 2010

Searching For Joannie Rochette Leads To Rogue AV


Websense Security Labs™ ThreatSeeker™ Network has detected that the black hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques are abusing the name of an Olympic figure skater who is very popular in recent news.

Joannie Rochette is a Canadian figure skater and the 2009 world silver medallist. In the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, despite the loss of her mother just 48 hours before her competition, she delivered a sensationalperformance and qualified to compete for gold. 

The bad guys still took advantage of this tragic incident and used it in the infamous Black SEO poisoning attacks. Searching for Joannie Rochette in reputable search engines leads to rogue AV.

This use of the Black SEO technique is even more pertinent now that the results have been announced, with Rochette receiving a bronze medal for her performance.

Once the victim clicks on the poisoned search results, he/she is redirected to the rogue AV page, and a fake Anti-virusexecutable asks for the victim's confirmation before being downloaded. 

Related topics are 4th and 7th on Google's Hot Trends USA list. Joannie Rochette is currently the most popular search term on Google Canada at the time of writing:

This isn't the first time Black SEO attacks target events and figures related to the olympics this year. 

Websense® Messaging and Websense Web Security customers are protected against this attack.


Forcepoint-authored blog posts are based on discussions with customers and additional research by our content teams.

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