More Proof that Stupid Users Exist… “Click Here to Get a Virus!”

And they did! How stupid is that?!? A security guy decided to do a Google Adwords ad to see, first, would Google accept it (they did,) then, would anyone respond and click the ad that promised a virus infection if you clicked on it… the ad said, “Drive-By Download, Is your PC virus-free? Get it infected here! drive-by-download.info” Ouch! Nobody’s THAT dumb, right? Wrong.

Hundreds Click on ‘Click Here to Get Infected’ Ad

“People will click on anything. That was evidenced by the 409 people who clicked on an ad that offers infection for those with virus-free PCs. The ad, run by a person who identifies himself as security professional Didier Stevens, reads like this:

Drive-By Download
Is your PC virus-free?
Get it infected here!
drive-by-download.info

Stevens, who says he works for Contraste Europe, a branch of the IT consultancy The Contraste Group, has been running his Google Adwords campaign for six months now and has received 409 hits. Stevens has done similar research in the past, such as finding out how easy it is to land on a drive-by download site when doing a Google search. In a posting about the drive-by download campaign, Stevens says that he got the idea after picking up a small book on Google Adwords at the library and finding out how easy and cheap it is to set up an ad… First, Stevens bought the drive-by-download.info domain. .info domains are notorious for hosting malware, he points out. Then he set up a server to display the innocuous message ‘Thank you for your visit’ and to log the requests. No PCs were harmed in this experiment, he emphasizes. The site is benign and has never hosted malware or other scripts or code. Then he started the Google Adwords campaign, using combinations of the words “drive-by download” along with the ad, which links to the drive-by-download.info site. Next, he sat and waited … for six months. Over that period, his ad was viewed 259,723 times and clicked on 409 times, for a click-through rate of about .16 percent. The experiment cost him $23, or 6 cents per click/potentially infected machine. Of the 409 people who clicked, 98 percent were running Windows machines, according to the user agent string, which is a text string that identifies a Web site visitor to a server. The agent string typically includes application name, version, host operating system and language.”

Wow.

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