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Google Finds Search Hijacking Virus on 1 Million Computers

Google users will now be greeted with a yellow warning at the top of their search results if they are affected, according to the security blog KrebsonSecurity.

Damian Menscher, a Google security engineer, said the malware appeared to find its way onto computers via fake anti-virus software, also known as scareware. Unsuspecting victims download the software, which then uses a vulnerability in Windows takes control of web searches.

When a search is entered, instead of going straight to Google it is first sent to servers controlled by the cyber criminals, which modify and redirect the traffic.

The ruse was discovered when engineers temporarily shut down one of Google’s data centres for maintenance. Normal search traffic was diverted to another of the firm’s sites, but Mr Menscher noticed more than a million computers were still trying to contact the dormant data centre.

Further investigations uncovered the unique traffic signature generated by the malware, which Google will now detect and encourage victims to remove from their computer.

The intiative is another sign that internet firms are becoming more aggressive in their response to cyber crime. Microsoft recently shut down the world biggest source of spam through the courts, and Virgin Media and TalkTalk have implemented systems, to warn broadband subscribers if their computer is infected or visiting a dangerous website respectively

Source: Telegraph News


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