Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

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
Data Leak Week: Billions of Sensitive Files Exposed Online
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/10/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Our Endpoint Protection system is a little outdated... 
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12420
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
In Apache SpamAssassin before 3.4.3, a message can be crafted in a way to use excessive resources. Upgrading to SA 3.4.3 as soon as possible is the recommended fix but details will not be shared publicly.
CVE-2019-16774
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
In phpfastcache before 5.1.3, there is a possible object injection vulnerability in cookie driver.
CVE-2018-11805
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
In Apache SpamAssassin before 3.4.3, nefarious CF files can be configured to run system commands without any output or errors. With this, exploits can be injected in a number of scenarios. In addition to upgrading to SA 3.4.3, we recommend that users should only use update channels or 3rd party .cf ...
CVE-2019-5061
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
An exploitable denial-of-service vulnerability exists in the hostapd 2.6, where an attacker could trigger AP to send IAPP location updates for stations, before the required authentication process has completed. This could lead to different denial of service scenarios, either by causing CAM table att...
CVE-2019-5062
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
An exploitable denial-of-service vulnerability exists in the 802.11w security state handling for hostapd 2.6 connected clients with valid 802.11w sessions. By simulating an incomplete new association, an attacker can trigger a deauthentication against stations using 802.11w, resulting in a denial of...