Adware hijacking Google Organic Results

Jun 14, 2004 • 11:20 pm | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google News & Finances
 

Think your safe while searching Google? Well the bad news, is that sometimes you maybe not be aware that the Google results you are getting have been altered to benefit the growing adware/spyware industry. If we didn't have anything else to worry about in searching the net, there appears to be a form of adware that is able to hijack google results and insert ads to make them appear as if they were real results. At the last second right before the search is completed it alters the results just slighty. Most would not notice this. Disturbing yes...Relevant no way...A big problem yes for organic results.

This form of spyware was brought to my attention by a friend of mine who was quite perplexed that such bad results came up when she did a search for "boat scotland". While I am taking a trip to Scotland in the next few months, I was interested to see what she found, and too check out some boat trips in Scotland as well. Unfortunately I wasn't able to see the altered results (I didn't have the adware) so I asked her to take a screen shot which is shown below. You will notice the first 2 results are served ads, that serve content from what appears to be tripadvisor and expedia.com. There is no "cached" page, and all that is available is "similar pages". Upon examining the links further, I copied the domain into the address bar, and bamn! an adware company domain where the named company (http://www. webthiswebthat .com/search/validate.php), setups up shop to spread the malicious objects to who ever wants to web this and web that in their spare time.

google-atdmt.gif

Now how to remove such adware? I did some research on how this possible searchenginespamware made its way to my friends computer. It appears she picked it up from visiting a site that force loaded this into her browser objects. Either that or she downloaded it without knowing while downloading something else. In any case, it can be removed, but its quite difficult. So to add insult to injury, once you remove the adware, it will come back next time you start up your computer. Ahhhh! Not to fear, here is a list of good programs to start using to help clean up your system from this trash.

Spybot - All around good program

BHOdemon - great program for guarding your Internet Explorer Browser Helper Objects (good details too)

Spyware Blaster 3.1

Ad-aware - classic removal program that works well

Spy Sweeper - Supposedly this is the only program that will remove the above spyware on one cleaning.

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Comments:

Ivan

01/07/2009 03:25 pm

so, how did you get rid of the problem?

steve

07/11/2009 08:32 pm

just ran full scan spyware doctor and the problem is still there

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