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Google Search: now shipping with malware detection

Wouldn't it be nice if users could be given real-time notifications as to whether their PC's have been infected by malware by simply having websites and search engines passively monitor for unconventional strains of network traffic? Well, the good news is that such a feature is now available on Google's search engine, where users whose PCs have been detected by the search giant to be sending out suspicious online traffic will be issued a notification message informing them as such.

Do you make use of Google's online services for your searching needs while on the Internet? If you do, you might be lucky enough to come across a certain prominent notification at the top of your Google Search results informing you that your PC might have been infected with malware. And if you do find yourself seeing such notifications every time you access Google's online search service, you might want to take heed of the warning and subject your computer to a proper malware scan, as this notification is Google's latest move to help protect users from the threat of malware via the monitoring of online traffic.

According to a post that was made on the official Google blog, the decision to add this new feature to Google Search came about after the company detected what it describes as "unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centers". Apparently, after some investigations with security engineers, it was determined that the computers which were responsible for generating this unusual search traffic were in fact "infected with a particular strain of malware". Because of this, the search giant has updated its online service service to seek out traces of such unconventional network traffic being generated by a user's PC, and promptly notify users when such activity is detected.

That being said, it would seem that Google has conveniently neglected to address certain possible concerns in its blog post. For one, the search giant has not revealed any information about the particular strain of malware that it is claiming to target with its new detection scheme; this means that users will have no idea as to what kind of malware they should be looking out for, and whether their malware scanners will have a database that is recent enough to detect the offending malware.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, is that with most Windows users being conditioned to ignore warnings generated by scam websites about a potential malware infection, just how effective Google's own legitimate warnings will be is really up for debate, although Electronista is claiming that the search giant might be hoping that its embedding of the notification directly into Google Search should be sufficient proof of its legitimacy for most users.

Source: Google blog, Electronista

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