Google Warns of New Redirect Virus

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Earlier this week, Google notified over 20,000 websites that they may have been infected by JavaScript redirect viruses.  The widespread attack targeted specific webpages, as opposed to entire websites as a whole, and may have infected even more than 20,000 websites.

Part of the problem with this new redirect virus is the fact that it uses unfamiliar JavaScript. Google is warning webmasters to search for a line of code that says “eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,r)”, which could be found in virtually any file on your system, including HTML or PHP files as well as JavaScript files themselves.

Why is this virus dangerous? Well, in addition to being a computer security threat for website visitors, it alters server configuration files. This helps to cloak the virus even further, as it may appear only under certain conditions on the same webpage.

Another problem with this virus is that it tarnishes the reputation of your website. If visitors to your site are constantly being redirected to other malicious websites, antivirus software might start to label your site as a security threat, which means that it would automatically be blocked by many programs. If you’re a webmaster who likes traffic, then this would be a serious problem.

To prevent this redirect virus from harming more internet users, Google has urged webmasters to keep their server security software up to date. Or, if using a public server, contact your web host for further information.

Why is Google doing this? They don’t sell antivirus software. Google argues that it has a responsibility to protect the internet from spam, and that they have always been transparent with webmasters in an effort to combat that spam. Essentially, Google is saying that they could have blocked these redirection sites from the Google search results, but they decided to give webmasters a little extra time to figure things out first.

This isn’t the first time that Google has played a role in PC security and antivirus protection. In 2011, Google blocked a massive number of domains with the “co.cc” extension because they were commonly associated with viruses, malware, and phishing attacks. During that blocking spree, Google blocked over 11 million URLs.

Whether visitors have been complaining about viruses on your website or not, it’s always important to keep your antivirus software up to date. Check our Top 10 Antivirus blog frequently for the latest news on fixing virus problems.

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