Cybercriminals and Press Relations
Have you ever noticed the relationship between cybercriminals and PR executives? Now, straight off, let me stress that I am no PRacist – some of my best friends are PR execs. And I am not making a point here; just saying, OK?
Making capital out of international events
Both PRs and hackers are drawn to anything that makes the news. Hardly a day goes by without me getting press releases about how such and such needn’t have happened if they had only been using wotsit (the Icelandic Ash Cloud wouldn’t have been a disaster if only Iceland Inc had used our Cloud Filtering software). And you wouldn’t believe the number of press releases already referring to the World Cup…
Cybercriminals use similar international events. False appeals for the Haiti earthquake; cheap tickets for the World Cup; naked videos of any celebrity currently in the news (OK, I don’t think PR has started on that one yet).
Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies
Some say that PR uses ‘power’ words, while criminals just lie. Good PR doesn’t lie, that’s for sure. But no PR is immune from the lure of hype. Both PR and cybercriminals are selling a product and both use words to do so. Frankly, given the success of money mule recruitment drives, and the success of rogue anti-virus products, the criminals are mighty good at their job. And where did the concept of viral advertising come from?
Search Engine Optimisation/Poisoning
Apart from the view that PR optimizes and hackers poison, what is the real difference here? In both cases the idea is to raise the client’s website as high as possible in the search engine’s rankings. The methods used are the same.
Just saying, OK?