Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Google Search Links Highjacked, and how to fix them

    It has come to my attention that Google Search Results can be highjacked. This has apparently hit the military community as well, redirecting traffic from the link you click to a web page that will attempt to steal your data. Google searches for the problem (ironic eh?) showed this to be a fairly large problem.

    First, some background information. This is not a Google issue, it is yours. Google did not get "hacked" or "hijacked" or anything of the sort, you did. If this happens to you, it is because your system is infected with a very malicious piece of malware that you managed to pickup.

    The most common places to pick these up are Torrent, Porn and similar "download" type web sites. This can also come from some of the "ToolBars" that some people insist upon using. I have seen IE so loaded with them it took up half of the page space. Stop that. Its stupid. You can also get this malware via email attachment.

    To remove the malicious malware, go to this web site and follow the instructions. You will need to install four or five different pieces of software and know how to edit your windows registry manually. If you are not tech savvy or just don't want "break" something, find a good friend who knows something about PC's and see if they will help you out. If all else fails you will need to backup your important data, wipe your hard drive, and do a clean reinstall of Windows.

    Care should be taken when reinstalling so that you don't re-infect your system with your old files.

    On the other hand, if you have a Mac or a Linux machine your fine. This particularly troublesome bit of software only affects Microsoft Windows computers. However, if you have a Mac or Linux machine you can still spread this malware to Windows users if you forward a message with the infected attachment on it.

    Until next time, happy surfing.

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