Posted January 7, 2009 1:23 pm by with 30 comments

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It appears Google needs to take Google Trends attacks more seriously. Just six months ago Trends was displaying a Swastika as one of the top searches for the day. Yesterday’s trend showed a plane flying into the Twin Towers:

Google Trends Attack

Google’s statement on such attacks is as follows:

The Hot Trends list is automatically generated by machines and algorithms that detect hot or breaking queries. In this case, it appears that the html code for this query was posted on a popular internet bulletin board, which led to quite a few people searching to find out more about this symbol. The Hot Trends list reflected that surge due to people searching with this query.

Perhaps its time to allocate a few more resources to prevent these types of messages from being spread.

via TechCrunch

  • We’ll know who’s responisble if we see MARKETINGPILGRIM.COM rank in first place. 😛

  • Wow, it’s interesting that people are using it to get THAT to the top and not things like promotions of sites as Quilmes said. I guess it might target you easily to get banned

  • Wow, I didn’t know that google is so wound. This hackers are experts than. How they menage to do that, especially to google.

  • Very odd. Almost didn’t notice the image.

  • I’m sure the government issued a code red terrorism alert after this happened.

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  • Another one I spotted a few minutes ago –
    Was gone by the time I got to the trends website itself.

  • ok, i se

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  • it looks like people were searching a lot for ‘FBI jobs’ as well…

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  • That is quite a nasty hack that could be used for blackhat purposes too. I went to the techcrunch post to try get more information, but the thread had degenerated in a political free-for-all….

  • Yes Jacques, it is a pity that the techcrunch post has turned into a free for all. Not of any use at all other than the main post.

    This is a dangerous development and can result in all kinds of problems. I hope that Google will take some action though quite what beats me.

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  • Google really needs to put more security measures in place that search terms like those don’t continue to be shown.

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  • Wow. Clearly their algorithm needs to be updated on this one. For example, they already filter out ‘bad words’. Why can’t they filter out unrecognized symbols. This really shouldn’t be happening.

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  • wow, the news is all about google this week!
    all this publicity can’t be doing them any harm!

  • it is realy weird.But may be these publicity is real.

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  • PS3

    Even if Google employed more resources to monitoring exceptions like the ones we have seen, where would you draw the line on acceptable content. Some thing clearly are, others may be borderline, leading to complaints that Google was manipulating the results.

  • TehMonster

    wow y’all are dumb. this is no hack. no single person is capable of doing any of it. it’s a community of at least a couple thousand people or more that band together for a cause. usually, hilarity ensues. I’m no racist, but that KFC bit was pretty funny…

  • The technical police is seen to be required and some extra measures to resist such a band.

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  • Doesn’t surprise me at all. Google does a great job policing everyone else but itself. Still, you’d have thought SOMEONE there would have caught this.

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  • mitchell

    Why is this a big deal? Why is this news at all? Why are people upset about this anyway? The purpose of google trends is to find and display serch trends, not to protect people from “offencive” content. It would be irrisponsible for google to lie about the information they gather just because some kids at are playing a joke.

  • TehMonster

    ^ agreed. everyone’s making a big fuss about this, when really the best way to get trolls to stop trolling is to ignore them. and really if they hire someone to monitor the trends, they’d have to have someone on watch 24/7 because these things hardly take up an hour to happen. one lunch break and BAM, snickersnee is at the top of the chart.

  • I don’t know if I agree that Google should control these results more… I mean, Google trends is meant to be objective and offer accurate information.. Where do you draw the line on the srt of censorship you’re suggesting?

  • As for me I do not pay much attention to Google Trends. It is much important what is inside of this powerful search engine than what is displayed outside.

  • Wii

    Things like this will always happen and even if they are only up for a few seconds someone will see it and get a screenshot. Then it will be all over the net. So policing of it becomes very difficult without vetting every search

  • how i missed that, it is interesting to see on related searches, what term are they searching.

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  • i am sure that google have experts working on this matter

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  • Wow, craziness. People need to grow up

  • And recently Google displayed “This site can harm your computer”, inclusive for their own sites.

  • i didn't notice the image…i looked 2 times.the 2nd time i saw it…very odd!

  • i didn't notice the image…i looked 2 times.the 2nd time i saw it…very odd!