Corporate websites are also the target of ‘defacement’ attacks. They consist of trying to exploit a server or Web application vulnerability to modify pages or introduce other content in the pages that shows the corporate web server. When users and potential customers visit a corporate web page and find it has been modified by a third-party, their confidence in the company is seriously affected.
Another method used by hackers that has proven successful is publishing false information on forums and blogs. Seemingly genuine news items, quotes included (false, of course) strategically distributed on several online sites can spread like wildfire, and achieve their goal: to convince a large number of users that the information is true. Many urban legends that are still popular today were originally created in a similar way, and have managed to affect highly prestigious multinational companies.
In a similar vein, there have also been false rumors aimed at manipulating stock market prices. Firstly, attackers send true stock market information as spam, to potentially interested parties. After several messages and once attackers consider they have sufficiently gained people’s trust, they send false information to manipulate stock prices.
Google, a reference point on the Web
Google’s strategic position on the Internet has seen it become a reference when searching for information, but also has a key role in establishing corporate reputations, good or bad. Consequently, Google is also used to attack the reputation of third-parties.
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