Could search sites spawn worms?

Friday, 25 June 2004, 7:46 AM EST

Worm attacks are bad enough by themselves, but some experts warn of an even more devastating variation: one that strikes at the application level instead of targeting network infrastructure, and spreads to Web sites through Web-based search engines.

Essentially, a smart worm could crawl into the data gathered by a search engine to identify the most vulnerable sites and target them, say some security experts and analysts.

"Search engines basically crawl Web sites and all their links, and categorize them," says Shlomo Kramer, CEO and president of Imperva, a Web application security company. Among the ways search site "bots" categorize sites is by their vulnerability.

By Joel Strauch at PC World

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