Google:Two Million PCs Infected by Search Hijacking Malware

Pulkit Chandna

There has been an alarming increase in scareware over the last couple of years. Google, which in 2010 ascertained 15% of all malware to be of the scareware variety, has begun notifying search users about a new strain of malware, which is thought to have been delivered to around a couple million PCs hidden inside fake antivirus software. According to the company, the said malware “causes infected computers to send traffic to Google through a small number of intermediary servers called ‘proxies’”. Hit the jump for more.

The web giant started warning search users affected by this as-yet-unnamed malware on Tuesday, and has already used this notification mechanism to “successfully warn hundreds of thousands of users that their computer is infected.”

“Recently, we found some unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centers,” the company revealed in a blog post Tuesday . “After collaborating with security engineers at several companies that were sending this modified traffic, we determined that the computers exhibiting this behavior were infected with a particular strain of malicious software, or ‘malware.’”

“As a result of this discovery, today some people will see a prominent notification at the top of their Google web search results. We hope that by taking steps to notify users whose traffic is coming through these proxies, we can help them update their antivirus software and remove the infections.”

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