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Endpoint

Google Tries Flagging Malware For Users

Search engine will warn users if it detects a specific attack on their machines

Google is experimenting with a new capability that will warn users if the search engine detects a specific malware threat on their computers.

In a blog, Google says it has warned "hundreds of thousands" of users of a new piece of malicious code that affects users who search via its site.

"Recently, we found some unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centers," the blog says. "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. As a result of this discovery, today some people will see a prominent notification at the top of their Google web search results.

"This particular malware causes infected computers to send traffic to Google through a small number of intermediary servers called 'proxies,'" Google says. "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."

Google says it doesn't know of a common name for the malware, but that it is predominantly carried by fake antivirus applications. "A couple of million" machines are infected, the search engine vendor says.

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Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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