Google: No One Infected By Untitled Search Spam Issue

Jan 31, 2022 - 7:41 am 3 by

Google Malware Hack

Danny Sullivan of Google said that no one was infected by the search spam issue around untitled documents. He said this is a spam issue, not a malware issue and "no one is infected with anything." Sullivan added that the spam team is already on the issue and things are already improving.

I spotted this via a tweet from both Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison, on Twitter and also via @bhartzer and we also covered it at Search Engine Land.

You can see the complaints and links to complaints about this both in Hacker News and Reddit. Supposedly, these "untitled" documents were hacked pieces of content that were spam and potentially had malware on them. I cannot replicate any of this now but some of the queries that were impacted, according to the thread were for queries on [name of a file that exists], [GitLab release],[GitLab Community Edition], [check gitlab version], [laser singapore camera], [UCLA laser singapore] , [wordpress transparent images], [LJ corpus], and [present for doctors surgery reddit]. Here are some screenshots of this:

click for full size

Google Untitled Spam Mobile

Danny Sullivan of Google said "we're aware and working on it. It's not malware. It's spam, something our systems normally would typically catch, so we're checking on it to improve." He added "it's spam, not malware and we are looking into this." Later saying "our spam team was already on it. It is spam, not malware. No one is infected with anything. I think things are already improving and they'll keep debugging it."

Some developers said they directly cleaned up the malware on some of these sites infected by this attack. One said "I'm sure the owners of a WordPress site for a some random company are not doing this on purpose. I've personally cleaned the malware from WordPress sites infected with javascript injections that produced pages similar to this." But like we saw above, Danny Sullivan said these links did not lead to any computer being infected by malware.

Google does take malware very seriously and has a large team devoted to this.

Did you see this in action?

Forum discussion at Hacker News and Reddit.


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