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Google Businesses Privacy Security

Yet Again, Google Tricked Into Serving Scam Amazon Ads (zdnet.com) 49

Zack Whittaker, reporting for ZDNet: For hours on Thursday, the top Google search result for "Amazon" was pointed to a scam site. The bad ad appeared at the very top of the search result for anyone searching for the internet retail giant -- even above the legitimate search result for Amazon.com. Anyone who clicked on the ad was sent to a page that tried to trick the user into calling a number for fear that their computer was infected with malware -- and not sent to Amazon.com as they would have hoped.

The page presents itself as an official Apple or Windows support page, depending on the type of computer you're visiting the page from. An analysis of the webpage's code showed that anyone trying to dismiss the popup box on the page would likely trigger the browser expanding to full-screen, giving the appearance of ransomware. A one-off event would be forgivable. But this isn't the first time this has happened. It's at least the second time in two years that Google has served up a malicious ad under Amazon's name.

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Yet Again, Google Tricked Into Serving Scam Amazon Ads

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    If it loses them a few customers ... fine with me. The company responsible for destroying businesses that actually pay workers decently and don't abuse their warehouse workers -- I'm not going to shed a tear for them.

    Bad karma yields bad results.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Advertising is by its very nature an intent to deceive for profit.
    These are just more blatant than most.

  • Just recently other sites I visit seemed to have a flood of full-screen popover ads, where I would see the main site for a few seconds while it loaded and then, BAM as the entire screen was filled with a warning about needing a virus scanner.

    It seems like there's some kind of wave attack going on...

  • by TomR teh Pirate ( 1554037 ) on Friday March 16, 2018 @12:58PM (#56270341)
    Google: we'll give you the safest phone in the world! Later that day... we don't know how to stop putting malware on our website
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Friday March 16, 2018 @01:02PM (#56270367)

    ... gets modern monoculture problems.

    No news here.
    Curiously enough, this is only due to both Google and Amazon being the only big players in their respective fields.

  • I'll turn it off completely once this problem is dealt with. The prior sentence can also be read "I'm not turning off ad blocker, because they won't likely fix this within my lifetime".
  • Google and Amazon have been at each other's throats for the last few years. It wouldn't surprise me if Google helped or Amazon wanting to hurt Google commissioned something like this.
    • That would be a prime (forgive the pun) example of "cutting off your nose to spite your face." This is bad for both companies. Google wants people to be able to trust their ads' safety, and Amazon doesn't want customers to fear clicking on links to their site.

      No need to invent conspiracy theories when a mundane explanation makes far more sense.

      • Of course it's bad business but they are both guilty of it already. [digitaltrends.com] It's not hard to make the leap once you see all the childish crap they've already pulled. I can't watch Prime Video on my Android TV device but the same app works fine on my phone. Amazon has a working Prime Video for Android TV but it checks to make sure it is running on Nvidia Shield hardware or it crashes on purpose! Google checks to see if YouTube is running on an Echo Show and shuts it down.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Google makes money from adverts whether the advert is just an advert or is spam, or malware. It really doesn't make any difference to google. I'd say that *you* are the one getting tricked if you believe what google says.

    • by novakyu ( 636495 )

      Except that this might expose Google to legal liability, as the platform on which fraudulent ads were served. IANAL, but I can't imagine a world where the advertise carrier (newspaper or Google) is completely innocent of whatever wrong was committed through the advertisement.

  • by kackle ( 910159 ) on Friday March 16, 2018 @01:26PM (#56270543)
    I haven't seen malware for many years ever since I put ad-blockers on each of my loved one's machines.
  • Who searches for Amazon ? Just type in amazon.com or amazon.ca or amazon.(insert your country code here).
  • I had that happen just this morning on a less well protected computer. Fun stuff.
  • Briefly yesterday, on a fresh install of Windows 10, Bing was sending people to the wrong avast website if you typed "avast" into the search. They fixed it pretty quickly.
  • I couldn't care less about page intrusions, content that's difficult to read, nonsense that I don't want to buy, or even scams in adverts. Those things have never been an issue for me as they're ignoble. I don't enjoy the privacy intrusions at all, that's some scary stuff, but that's not the biggest issue for me personally. The biggest problem with advertising on websites is the possibility of being served malicious adverts. I've got a lot of code on my machines and I've got a lot of NDA's for clients. I'm

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