Monday, Jun 18th

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Google is Going Direct with Malware Warnings

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Google has announced that it will return a malware notice with search results for users who have infected systems. It has taken an active stance after finding out on its own servers that malware code is seemingly redirecting search queries for some users. The users that are compromised will see a yellow banner at the top of the search results warning them that their computer seems to be infected.

That banner will include a link to information on how to clean the infection. Google announced this program after finding out an unusual pattern of activity while doing maintenance on a server. This unusual traffic was being routed to Google through some proxy servers.

This is a case of a third party content provider which has taken upon itself the responsibility for cautioning customers of infections even though the role of the internet service providers in protecting their customers has been under debate for several years now. A senior malware researcher at the Blue Coat Systems feels that Google has to be lauded for this effort and initiative.

There is another tangent to this issue. Many fake anti-virus vendors have started sending security alerts as a popular ploy for enticing innocent victims to download worthless programs to eliminate malicious software. So, there is a possibility that users may be suspicious of the Google alert and the fake guys may take advantage by duplicating it. Maybe, Google is aware of the risk. If we look at the situation realistically, by now, several million machines have been infected.