Google is using its search engine results pages to warn users about malware it detects in their computers. The malware variants are apparently pinging Google's search.
(NASDAQ:GOOG) July 19 began taking the unusual step of searching users'
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows computers for malware after it detected some
suspicious search traffic in its servers.
computer infected with this kind of malware, which may have come from
downloading software or reading an email, may result in deleted data, stolen
personal information and a slower connection to many Websites.
malware, which hasn't been named because it includes several variants, prompts
infected Windows computers to send traffic to Google through intermediary or
proxy servers, making the source of the infections tougher to trace.
whose computers are found to be distributing
malware will see a yellow notification atop their Google Web search results,
appears that your computer is infected with software that intercepts your
connection to Google and other sites."
then redirects users via a link to fix the issue by performing a system scan and
updating their antivirus software if necessary.
company confirmed the suspicious search traffic was malware after huddling with
security experts at several companies that were sending this modified traffic.
company was particularly tight-lipped about the details, presumably to continue
investigating the issue. Google isn't sure where the malware is coming from or
exactly what effect, if any, the malware has on had on Google users.
information is available on Google's
help center page here
Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan
ferreted out more info
, including the fact that Google is concerned about
"Windows Protection Suite," a fake antivirus software program that
appears to be routing traffic to Google.
Krebs on Security interviewed
security engineer Damian Menscher, who found the pernicious software while
conducting routine maintenance at a Google data center.