25 Jul 2011

Google warns users of malware

A known problem of the internet security world has been fake antivirus software that users load onto their computers from popups that claim to fix an issue that may not exist. According to Google, these may be affecting "a couple million" PCs and the search engine giant is trying to warn users.

Last week Google began informing some people using the search engine that their computers could be affected by malware after the company saw unusual search traffic. A message reading "Your computer appears to be infected" appeared on the screen of some users along with a link outlining how to fix the problem.

Part of the solution, according to Google, is to make sure antivirus software is as up-to-date as possible.

"This particular malware causes infected computers to send traffic to Google through a small number of intermediary servers called 'proxies,'" wrote Google security engineer Damian Menscher in a post on the company's blog. "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."

So far Google says hundreds of thousands of users who may have never known they were infected have been warned.