Do a search on Google, and you might get an unexpected surprise. A warning notice at the top of your results is warning you that your computer has been infected with malware. The screenshot below shows an example of this happening from a simple search.
This problem has been causing concern, with the source and type of malware not being given within the details. Google blogs:
This particular malware causes infected computers to send traffic to Google through a small number of intermediatary servers called “proxies”. 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.
This is malware and so un-wanted and potentially threatening, menacing enough that Google are giving search results warnings, but Google is describing the problem itself as an exercise in data analysis. The posted blog doesn’t confirm that the malware is, of course, only a threat to Windows systems and neither does the help page make that clear. The option to ‘Fix’ the problem is merely a suggestion that the user should run an anti-virus program, but without telling the user what malware the anti-virus should be detecting.
If you do get one of these warnings on your computer (running Windows) and don’t already have anti-virus software, it would be a sensible time to get yourself some and run it through your system. However it would also be a little more helpful if Google provided some more details on the type of malware present.
Google, when asked about further information have mentioned;
“We detected a large number of variants of the malware. As a result, naming is not so straight-forward. From a user’s perspective, it is more important to understand their computer is infected and that they should take steps to fix it. You may have noticed that there is a feedback form in our help center for people to report what they have found.”
Therefore as a base procedure get yourself some decent anti-virus software if you own and operate a Windows computer. Malware isn’t new, nor have users of Windows computers been oblivious to it. Indeed, Windows itself will warn you of the need to protect against malware in various ways. I’m pretty sure Windows 7 at least warns you if you don’t have any anti-virus software installed. Get some and post your results to Google if this problem occurs, hopefully this will help clear up the problem efficiently and quickly.