Vulnerabilities / Threats
7/20/2011
02:24 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Warns Searchers Of Windows Malware Infection

Google has started alerting users running Windows about a specific form of local malware it can detect through network traffic flows.

10 Massive Security Breaches
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: 10 Massive Security Breaches
Hundreds of thousands of people using Google Search have seen this message atop a search results page recently: "Your computer appears to be infected." While finding malware on one's computer can be disconcerting, it's also disconcerting to consider that Google appears to know what's on your computer.

In fact, Google doesn't know about your applications, apart from those you use to access Google services on the Internet. If the company has identified malware on your computer, it's because your computer is probably infected with malware that hijacks Google search results and redirects search traffic to websites for payment.

For years, Google has presented alerts about websites in its search index that it believes may have been compromised to serve malware. It has also provided open-source Web security research tools such as skipfish, ratproxy, and DOM Snitch. This is the first time Google has applied its knowledge of Internet network traffic to identify malware on its users' local computers.

Google security engineer Damian Menscher said the company's security team discovered unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of its data centers. "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,'" he explained in a blog post.

The malware prompts infected Windows computers to send traffic to Google through proxy servers. Google is detecting traffic that comes from these servers and notifying users sending the traffic that their computers appear to be infected.

Google says that that several million PCs appear to be affected, that it has warned several hundred thousand people, and that the source of the infection appears to be one of roughly a hundred variants of fake antivirus software. The company says it is not aware of a specific name for the fake antivirus software responsible for the infection.

Google advises that users utilize current antivirus software to scan for an infection and to be wary of inadvertently installing fake antivirus software in an attempt to correct the problem. If legitimate antivirus software fails to fix the issue and Google searches still bring a warning message, Google provides instructions for manually cleaning one's Windows hosts file, through which the malware redirects Web requests.

Black Hat USA 2011 presents a unique opportunity for members of the security industry to gather and discuss the latest in cutting-edge research. It happens July 30-Aug. 4 in Las Vegas. Find out more and register.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.