Google Webmaster Tools used by hackers in website attacks

Website hackers are using Google’s Webmaster Tools to keep infected websites under their control for longer.

Google Webmaster Tools is used by webmasters to communicate with Google. It is also used to see if there are any indexing problems, or whether a website is infected by malware.

Hackers are now verifying themselves as owners of websites using Google’s Webmaster Tools. This helps them keep hacks under wraps for longer.

Website security experts Sucuri said there are many reasons hackers will register as owners of a domain. It allows them to:

  • Gather statistics that tell them how their black-hat SEO campaign performs.
  • Submit sitemaps of their spam pages to have Google discover them.
  • Get notifications about hack detection. This helps estimate how efficiently Google can detect their doorways and the amount of damage it does to their campaign.
  • Unverify legitimate site owners’ accounts so they don’t receive any security notifications from Google Search Console.

Sucuri said site owners should prepare for such attacks and take advantage of Google’s notification system.

  • Make sure you register and verify ownership of all your sites.
  • If you receive “new owner” notifications from Google, don’t take them lightly.
  • It’s quite easy for hackers to remove you as an owner of your site when someone has access to your server. And you will not be notified about this.

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Google Webmaster Tools used by hackers in website attacks