Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Cybersecurity

Is Google Getting Worse?

Is Google Getting Worse? A Longitudinal Investigation of SEO Spam in Search Engines. Janek Bevendorff, Matti Wiegmann, Martin Potthast, and Benno Stein.”Many users of web search engines have been complaining in recent years about the supposedly decreasing quality of search results. This is often attributed to an increasing amount of search-engine-optimized but low-quality content. Evidence for this has always been anecdotal, yet it’s not unreasonable to think that popular online marketing strategies such as affiliate marketing incentivize the mass production of such content to maximize clicks. Since neither this complaint nor affiliate marketing as such have received much attention from the IR community, we hereby lay the groundwork by conducting an in-depth exploratory study of how affiliate content affects today’s search engines. We monitored Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo for a year on 7,392 product review queries. Our findings suggest that all search engines have significant problems with highly optimized (affiliate) content—more than is representative for the entire web according to a baseline retrieval system on the ClueWeb22. Focussing on the product review genre, we find that only a small portion of product reviews on the web uses affiliate marketing, but the majority of all search results do. Of all affiliate networks, Amazon Associates is by far the most popular. We further observe an inverse relationship between affiliate marketing use and content complexity, and that all search engines fall victim to large-scale affiliate link spam campaigns. However, we also notice that the line between benign content and spam in the form of content and link farms becomes increasingly blurry—a situation that will surely worsen in the wake of generative AI. We conclude that dynamic adversarial spam in the form of low-quality, mass-produced commercial content deserves more attention.”

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 17, 2024

Via LLRX –  Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 17, 2024 -Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

DuckDuckGo’s privacy browser adds built-in password syncing

The Verge: “DuckDuckGo has added a new “Sync & Backup” feature to its privacy-first browser that will keep passwords, bookmarks, and favorites constant across all of your devices — without setting up an account. Falling right in line with its usual claims that it won’t track you or collect your data, the company says that… Continue Reading

FCC gets tough: Telcos must now tell you when your personal info is stolen

The Register: “The FCC’s updated reporting requirements mean telcos in America will have just seven days to officially disclose that a criminal has broken into their systems. After releasing a proposed rule in early January and giving the industry 30 days to respond, the FCC’s final rule was published today. It solidifies what the agency… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 11, 2024

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 11, 2024 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on… Continue Reading

Using Google Search to Find Software Can Be Risky

Krebs on Security: “Google continues to struggle with cybercriminals running malicious ads on its search platform to trick people into downloading booby-trapped copies of popular free software applications. The malicious ads, which appear above organic search results and often precede links to legitimate sources of the same software, can make searching for software on Google… Continue Reading

Buying Spying: How the commercial surveillance industry works and what can be done about it

Google: “Spyware is typically used to monitor and collect data from high-risk users like journalists, human rights defenders, dissidents and opposition party politicians. These capabilities have grown the demand for spyware technology, making way for a lucrative industry used to sell governments and nefarious actors the ability to exploit vulnerabilities in consumer devices. Though the… Continue Reading

New tool to automatically remove your personal information from data broker sites

Introducing Mozilla Monitor Plus – “Today, Mozilla Monitor (previously called Firefox Monitor), a free service that notifies you when your email has been part of a breach, announced its new paid subscription service offering: automatic data removal and continuous monitoring of your exposed personal information…“When we launched Monitor, our goal was to help people discover… Continue Reading

LLRX January 2024 Issue

LLRX Articles and Columns for January 2024 The 2024 ‘Burning Issues’ Confronting Firm Leaders – Patrick J, Mckeena and Michael B. Rynowecer AI in Banking and Finance, January 31, 2024 – This semi-monthly column by Sabrina I. Pacifici highlights news, government documents, NGO/IGO papers, industry white papers, academic papers and speeches on the subject of… Continue Reading