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Searching Bing for Google Chrome Takes Users to a Place They Don’t Expect

Searching Bing for Google Chrome Takes Users to a Place They Don’t Expect

With Google Chrome as its major competition, Bing needs all the help it can get just to claim a market share of the web browsing industry. Despite this, Microsoft’s search engine has encountered problems in the past with some of its top searches, including some that have caused data breaches.

What’s the Problem?
What’s the first thing that anyone who prefers Google Chrome does when they open Microsoft Edge? Simple--they download Google Chrome. Since Chrome isn’t available by default on Windows 10 devices, users have to download it, which means that they are reliant on Bing’s search results to find Google Chrome. The problem with this is that some malware sites have disguised themselves as sponsored ads for Google Chrome in Bing’s search results.

These sponsored ads would appear when a user searches for Google Chrome in the Bing search engine. Basically, instead of a legitimate sponsored ad leading to the Google Chrome download page, the malicious ad would instead bring the user to a phishing site disguised to look like the Google Chrome download page. This page would have a URL of ‘googleonline2018.com.’ If you try to access this page through Google Chrome, it’s actually blocked, but Bing and Edge don’t do this, making it a huge security issue.

These Issues Aren’t the First
Making the situation even worse is that this isn’t the first time Bing has encountered issues like this. Even as far back as April of this year, this same threat was reportedly identical to the recent version. The ad has been pulled as of this writing, but it’s strange that no explanation has been issued regarding this threat by Google, or even a confirmation that the issue has been resolved. All of these factors combine to create a situation where it’s not that unbelievable a situation like this could happen again.

Other Bing Problems
There are other problems related to Bing that have caused issues in the past, including a history of providing offensive or alarming content through its image search. For example, if you were to search for objectively neutral terms, there is a chance that, even with SafeSearch on, the image search will deliver racist search suggestions or other similarly-offensive content. Bing has also been known to push conspiracy theories through its suggested searches. Searching for the wrong thing could potentially expose users to material that they didn’t want to view in the first place, or content that could land viewers in hot water with the law.

To remain updated on similar situations to those explained above, as well as the latest security breaches and threats, subscribe to k_Street Consulting, LLC’s blog.

 

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Thursday, December 13 2018

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