Bing Serves Up Malware — But They Aren’t The Only Ones…

Search Engines Vetting Failures

Google is currently losing their minds!  Why? Bing has allowed a malicious link to display that is serving up malware instead of a legitimate download for Google Chrome.  But, to be fair, Google is just as guilty…

Here’s the story:

Last April, Bing was found displaying a fraudulent advertisement when users would search for “Google Chrome download”.  Instead of directing users to a legitimate download site, it would send them to a fake site full of malware.  Bad right?  We agree.  This ad had since been removed.  However, a replacement has now hit Bing’s search engine.  Users are rightfully upset because search engines should be doing their due diligence to ensure the ads they’re serving up to users are legitimate.  But they’re not.

Google is particularly upset because it is a fake ad for Google Chrome.  Again, we get it.  But Google also has a history of failing at properly vetting their paid advertisements.  We cannot even begin to tell you how many times we’ve had to file DMCA notices for fraudulent PC Matic support websites that Google promotes as paid ads.  Even after the pages have been taken down, Google will still display them in search results.

So, before Google gets too upset with Bing, perhaps they should look at their vetting processes as well.

Avoiding Malicious Ads

As far as avoiding these malicious ads — users need to simply do their own due diligence, and not rely on the search engines to do it for them.  Here are a few key tips for search engine best practices:

  • Ensure the destination URL is going to a legitimate website — not a copy-cat or third-party site.
  • Look at more than the first search result
  • This isn’t foolproof, but it helps — be sure the landing page is secure by confirming it is prefaced with https:// instead of http://
  • If you know the direct landing page URL, you don’t need to search for it — this only increases the odds you’ll click on something malicious.  Instead simply type in URL in the browser’s address bar.

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14 thoughts on “Bing Serves Up Malware — But They Aren’t The Only Ones…

  1. Linux Mint, since 2009. Never had ANY issue, of any kind. None.

    My occupation involves the repair & upkeep of Windows machines and I have to say, I am SO happy to return home to my own computer at the end of the day! It just works, with zero BS.

    Cheers

  2. As a search engine, Bing quite frankly sucks. ‘Nuff said. While I do have Google Chrome on my laptop, I downgraded it and use Opera as my default web browser. I also have Firefox and Tor — but I use Tor only as a last resort, in situations when I cannot use a VPN, for Tor is ridiculously slow.

  3. If you are worried, type the address in yourself. Some malicious sites will use a look-alike character from another alphabet, and then you are in a look-alike site.

    Maybe there is software that could highlight characters from other alphabets(different language keyboards), but I have not seen it myself.

  4. Hello All, I never use Bing or Chrome – all I’ve ever used are Mozilla Firefox and IE and lifetime Pc Matic! Absolutely NO problems!!

  5. Our son who is now in medical school has one of our PC-Matic protected computers. He uses Bing and fell for the Google Chrome malware link. PC-Matic protected his computer. He became a big PC-Matic fan after that issue and has told all his friends and fellow students about PC-Matic, as we have.

  6. Lately I have had an issue with Chrome while surfing, I go onto a site and on to an internal page and when I try to go back to the front page or the Google search I get repeatedly stuck on the internal page (with adverts), I then hold the left mouse button while hovering over the back arrow and get a list of where I’m going back to and find there are multiple entries for the internal page that should not be there.
    I have read that it is a corrupt chrome extension the tag of which starts: ww7,this is surely something to do with the explosion of advertising we’re getting lately.

  7. Had a request today when I went to Google Chrome (hoping for a positive search not found with Yahoo)
    for Chrome to make adjustments/changes/etc., to Windows Defender – NOW, I AM WORRIED. Everything
    subsequently seems ok but one doesn’t know – eh? Please let me know here if the request was valid
    or whther I should take steps to ‘restore’ . Thank you.

  8. You said to, “•Ensure the destination URL is going to a legitimate website — not a copy-cat or third-party site.”
    Just how, exactly, can I do that?

    • It can help to double check where a link is going to by hovering over it. You could check to see if it’s leading you to a different place then you thought or if there are suspicious typos in the link.

  9. Thanks. I always read you newsletters for the latest and greatest.
    I have just recently noticed that Bing just keeps coming back in. Somehow has set itself up as a default browser of sorts on the internet explorer blue e on my Dell XPS8500 desktop Windows 7 computer. I’ve deleted it several times to no avail. Have a lifetime subscription for PC Matic and annuals for 2 other programs that I enjoy. Driver Alerts and PC Magnum.
    Watching your server security ads with great interest as well. Learning all I can about the subject of everything sliding around inside computers. Since I’ve had my PC Matic I have very little problems … sometimes I don’t always understand the techy stuff, but when I write in about an issue, one of your great techs always points me in the right direction. KUDOS AND MANY THANKS PC MATIC

    • @Diane Wilson: I agree with your assessment of PC MATIC. They are the best and I feel so confident using their daily scans of my PC. I use Bing all the time as my search engine as I enjoy their format in their presentation. However, I noticed that when I need to reach a major entity online, if I use Bing, the content of the webpage is corrupt and will not allow me to take the required action that I wanted to perform. I then need to use Goole Chrome to reach the website to proceed.

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