Since July of 2008 when I released the first public version, Unmask Parasites was a “one man project” and it worked fine for me most of the time. I did everything myself from server setup to site development, from web attack investigations to blogging here. During these years Unmask Parasites became quite noticeable both within webmasters and Internet security community. And I always tried to meet their expectations providing a tool that could reveal various obscure website security issues and sharing information on how and why websites get hacked, and what can be done to prevent it.
In that article, I wrote about how such hacks work and how cyber-criminals can use this hard-to-detect attack to hijack search results of compromised sites. You can also find a short review of a real “rel=canonical” attack that affected quite a few websites.
As always, I wrote about tools and techniques that can help you diagnose hacks that try to make Google think that your site has moved to a new domain name. Unfortunately, at this point no tools that I know of specifically check for rogue “rel=canonical” instructions. However, more universal file integrity monitoring solutions can be really efficient as they will inform about any unexpected modifications.
Continue (how Unmask Parasites reveals rel=canonical hacks) »»
1 Million web pages have been checked by Unmask Parasites since July 1, 2008.
167,033 of them were found suspicious for one reason or another.
This happened on December 5, 2010 around 00:00 GMT.
Looking forward for the second million :)
Unmask Parasites turns two years old today!
Wikipedia defines Parasitism as a “type of symbiotic relationship between organisms of different species in which one, the parasite, benefits from a prolonged, close association with the other, the host, which is harmed.”
This definition perfectly describes relationships between hackers and legitimate websites. As it often happens in real life, the host (legitimate website and its owner) may be completely unaware of parasites until the harmful effect becomes obvious (e.g. drops in traffic, lost search engine rankings, site gets blacklisted, etc. ). And it doesn’t matter how big or small your site is and how malicious the hack is – this is the sort of relationships where parasites (hackers) always win and legitimate websites always lose.
As a webmaster, you can be more effective at detecting and mitigating parasitic activities if you know how hackers can benefit from your site .
In the last couple of months of 2009 I quitely rolled out some improvements to Unmask Parasites. I couldn’t find enough time to blog about them since there always had been some nasty malware attack that I needed to investigate and write about here. Finally, I decided that the new year beginning is the proper time to round up some improvements and new features of the last year.
Round up »»
As you know, Unmask Parasites is a free independent service. And I hope it will always be free. However, to be able to pay my bills, I placed Google’s contextual ads on this site.
I think, Google AdSense worked well for me (not great though). I didn’t have to search for sponsors – Google picked the most relevant ads from their vast advertizing network for me. The ads are almost guaranteed to be safe (you know, some ad networks fail to detect banners that contain malicious code). And the earnings were enough to pay for the site hosting and domain names (these are the only direct expenses I have).
Exactly one year ago I purchased the UnmaskParasites.com domain name and made the first early beta version of my new service available for public testing.
One year later Unmask Parasites is still in beta but now it’s a much more mature service that has proven its viability.
Many interesting things happened during this year. I’m not a good writer to make it an interesting reading, so I’ll only list some milestones, facts and statistics here.