Handbook of Information Security
Search Engines (security, privacy and ethical issues)
Raymond F. Wisman
PROPOSAL - Search engines open the front door of the Web, serving as the tool most often used when people look for any type of information. For online companies, a high rating by a search engine can bring in customers while a low rating can render the site invisible. Search engine attention is therefore commercially valuable and often subjected to attempts at manipulation. As a well-known and highly centralized part of the Web infrastructure, search engines present an attractive target to direct attacks by those seeking to disrupt.
The chapter will give an overview of search engine design while examining security and common attacks on search engines; privacy concerns of search engine users and about information made public; and ethical issues concerning how sites attempt to manipulate search engines and how the information is used. The literature reviewed includes sources on:
· text searching [Salton, 1971]
· current search engine design [Schwartz, 1998]
· security vulnerabilities [Massimo, 1997], [Microsoft, 2000]
· site positioning techniques [Marckini, 2001]
· common browser vulnerabilities [CERTŪ Advisory CA-2003-22, 2003]
Additional research is needed on privacy and ethics on the part of search engine users.