Weekly Digital News Roundup: April 18-22
Heartbleed Internet Security Flaw Used in Attack
- According to the New York Times, within 24 hours of the Heartbleed bug’s disclosure last week, an attacker used it to break into a major corporation, security experts said Friday.
- The attacker was able to break into an employee’s encrypted virtual private network, or so-called VPN, session. From there, the hacker or hackers used the Heartbleed bug about 1,000 times until successfully extracting information like passwords to get broader access to the victim’s network, said researchers at Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm.
- Investigators were still assessing whether actual damage had been done and because of nondisclosure agreements, the firm has not named the targeted company — only that it is a “major corporation” with particularly sophisticated attack detection systems.
Will Google Reward Secure Websites With Better Search Rankings?
- Search Engine Watch wonders: Is Google considering giving websites that use strong encryption preferential placement in its search results?
- Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts has hinted at this, having spoken about such a move. Cutts was speaking at the SMX West conference in San Jose, California, when the topic of website hacking came up. He said that rewarding secure websites would save Google time whenever a fresh security panic sweeps the Internet, according to Time magazine.
- Cutts has also spoken in private about this, the Wall Street Journal reported. Google has remained mute on the topic. No one is expecting the change to happen anytime soon, however Google is throwing resources at Heartbleed, which is a much more immediate issue.
SEO & PPC Q1 2014 Trends: Mobile & Bing Ads Growing
- According to RKG’s Digital Marketing 2014 Q1 report, smartphone cost per click continues to be less overall than tablet and desktop, at $0.76 versus $0.93 and $0.94 respectively.
- The bounce rate for mobile search, however, is 5 percent higher than desktop overall. “The gap between the two device classes has been a persistent one with this quarter’s results mirroring performance from two years earlier,” RKG said in its report.
- Spending on Bing ads grew 60 percent, according to the report—that’s significantly more than Google’s 29 percent growth. “Bing is beginning to represent an increasingly appealing alternative to Google because of its less competitive bidding environment (lower CPCs) and increasingly effective trafﬁc (growing CTR),” The Search Agency reported.