Search Engine Infections on the Rise
The bulk of the Fake Antivirus infections making up the viral epidemic spreading like wildfire since June of 2008, had been coming from Facebook and Myspace web pages until recently. Lately, we have seen a shift in the source of infection to web search results. Both Google and Yahoo searches have been bringing up infected results. These infections show up not only in the actual main search results, but in the Sponsored search results (on Google, these show up at the top of the list with a yellow shaded background). Sponsored search results are ads that Google receives vast sums of money to place at the very top of search results for certain keywords or phrases. In other words, the criminals responsible for the infection on your computer are paying good money (to Google) to effect this result. They do this because they know the end result is well worth their investment.
Also, over the last year we have seen a change in the methodology implemented by the miscreants distributing these infections. Around this time a year ago, someone realized they could permanently circumvent all of the Internet security products that exist today, by simply updating the code to their little “pets” on a very rapid basis (say every 30 minutes). Since even the most advanced Antivirus products only update their definitions every 4 hours, there is no way they can keep up with the new virus code being distributed. We fine-tune our AVG antivirus install to update every Hour. That is still inadequate. We have lost the battle. Period. Until the methodology employed by the people protecting us changes to a hardware-based solution that simply does not allow viral behavior, we are all screwed.
What does all this mean to you? It means, regardless of the Internet security product you think is the best, implementing it will NOT protect you 100%. Nothing will protect you 100%. If you are not extremely circumspect about where you go on the Internet and what you click on, your computer WILL be infected and you will NOT be able to resolve the problem yourself. Even attempting to fix it yourself will likely make the problem worse, resulting in an un-bootable computer after all your personal information has been stolen and while your identity is being compromised.
What’s the solution?
- Buy an Apple computer. (I am typing this on a Mac Pro)
- Use a computer with a Linux Operating System.
- Stay off of Facebook and Myspace. (No, it doesn’t matter that you “don’t click on anything”)
- Be VERY careful what you click on when searching, reading emails or using IM.
- Use our recommendations for AntiVirus / Internet Security. We know what we’re talking about. We disinfect dozens of computers a week.
- Keep your computer backed up every single day so you can restore the Operating System (and your data) in case of infection.