Google warns of malware infection on Windows users’ computers.
Google is harnessing the power of the web to alert Windows users of possible malware infections on their machine.
The malware alert was developed after the company noticed “some unusual search traffic” during routine maintenance on their 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,'” said Google security engineer Damian Menscher in a July 19 post on the Google Security Blog. “As a result of this discovery, today some people will see a prominent notification at the top of their Google web search results.”
The yellow “Your computer appears to be infected” warning will appear at the top of Google’s web search results if the company finds a computer is housing a specific type of malware, along with a link that shows how to fix the issue and remove the infections.
“We hope to use the knowledge we’ve gathered to assist as many people as possible,” said Menscher, but comments left on Google’s Security Blog suggested that the warning could be more detrimental to non-savvy computer users in the future than no official warning at all.
“It’s too bad that the malware folks in the world already use ‘your computer appears to be infected’ messages to trick people into installing malicious software,” commented a user by the name of Mecandes. “Tomorrow, the bad guys will copy the format and appearance of Google’s version of the message, to leverage the trust people have in Google. Perhaps Google needs something akin to the Yahoo personalized ‘sign-in seal’ for moments like this?”
According to a January Security Threat Report by security company Sophos, the USA is home to the most infected webpages in the world. France, Russia, Germany and China follow in second to fifth places.