A newly discovered bug that can easily be exploited by anyone to make the Google search engine churn out the manipulated result is something that needs to be monitored. This bug for search manipulation was actually documented by a security specialist based on London named Wietze Beukema.
The specialist warned about this bug stating that any malicious user can use the bug for generation of misinformation. This bug acts by splicing together the values from the Google result’s “Knowledge Graph”. These are the cards which pop up for the search results in order to supplement search queries with quick facts and visuals.
Anything from planets, countries, tech news and several other cards have appeared over the right-faction of search results in Google. This displays other nuggets comprised of information at glance. In his blog post, Beukema went on to explain that this short and shareable URL is entered into Google search results that could easily be chopped and then added to a web address from any different search query.
So now, if a user happens to search: “What is the capital of China?” anyone would expect the answer to be Beijing. However, the use of this bug can help you add in any kind of answer such as “Mars”. This bug makes it fairly easy to insert a manipulated search result into the knowledge content. This manipulated query result doesn’t actually break the HTTPS. This is why anyone with basic computer knowledge can craft this link, send the same via email, share on Facebook, or maybe Tweet the same.
However, this can be a major issue in an era of mistrust when internet companies have been thriving on fake campaigns filled with misinformation. The addition of this bug will further downgrade the quality of information we receive.
The answer to “Who is responsible for the 9/11 incident?” can be easily pointed out to EX-President of US, George Washington which is a widely believed conspiracy theory. No wonder, many people tend to think that the recent election was actually rigged. Especially now, when they know that a click of the button on the search engine can tell who should be voted by the general public.
As of now, this bug is currently in the active state. The weird thing about this bug is the fact that people have known about it for more than 3 years, but it was Beukema who brought it into the light.