For those who aren’t aware, Java is a programming language that requires a piece of software called the Java Runtime Environment to be installed on machines that run Java code. Many people use Java to create applications that run in browsers, and to do so browsers need to have a plugin installed.
Unfortunately, over recent months there have been numerous security problems discovered in Java, some of which will allow malicious third parties to infect machines running Java with malware via the browser.
Java’s owners, Oracle, have been slow to issue patches that will fix the security vulnerabilities, and new zero-day exploits are being discovered with alarming frequency.
Image by Vectorportal
In a recent blog entry, Matt Cutts discusses a common response of sites that have been delisted or had their SERP position drop. Webmasters say that there’s nothing wrong with their site, that they haven’t been engaged in any shady link-building strategies, and Google is unfairly punishing them. Cutts responds that in many of these cases the reason for the penalty is that sites have been hacked and infected with malicious software without webmaster being aware.
Hacking a site is one of a number of Negative SEO strategies that a site’s competitors can engage in to damage search rankings and reputations. Today we’ll be having a look at hacking and a couple of other Negative SEO tactics, so that you can be aware of possible vectors of attack for your sites, and what you can do about them.