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Google search can warn you of malware on your computer!

 11:10 am on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

After Matt shared this on google plus - [googleblog.blogspot.com ], many came back reporting this as a good addition but AFAIK no one claimed to have seen one such notification.Matt however says "Google has been able to detect a large number of computers infected with a specific piece of malware".

But the only good info that I got out of this message is this:

This particular malware causes infected computers to send traffic to Google through a small number of intermediary servers called “proxies.” We hope that by taking steps to notify users whose traffic is coming through these proxies, we can help them update their antivirus software and remove the infections.

That meant google can now detect the originating IP, even if you use proxies.



 5:35 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't get that conclusion. I think it means that Google can see the pattern of traffic coming through a few specific proxies that are used by this malware, and send out this specific response in those cases.


 7:00 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes, I read the article, and understand they based their notification on specific proxies being used. They just crossed the creepy line, and yes... I do get it, they are trying to do something good.

Here is where the fix-it link leads you. [google.com...]


 7:45 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Can you be confident that g### is only looking at proxies that people are not using on purpose?


 8:12 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Section 5.3, in the TOS... [google.com...]

5.3 You agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services by any means other than through the interface that is provided by Google, unless you have been specifically allowed to do so in a separate agreement with Google. You specifically agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services through any automated means (including use of scripts or web crawlers) and shall ensure that you comply with the instructions set out in any robots.txt file present on the Services.

I assume under the typical ambiguity of almost everything Google does, by searching behind a proxy, you would be in violation of using Google at all if you have a Google Services account.

I'm sure that somewhere in the maze of legaleze... Google has made sure that its TOS are applicable to everyone using Google, logged in or not.


 10:10 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Normally I would have no problem with this, but now I don't know how deep the tracking is. So I am not giving them the benefit of the doubt for now. Maybe it's the first step toward checking a box to give them permission to scan our hard drives. This is not the first time they pulled stunts [techcrunch.com...]


 11:29 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

That meant google can now detect the originating IP, even if you use proxies.

Yes, because Google knows the IP associated with your Gmail account, your adsense, your logged in search history and every other tool you used. They also know your IP every time you visit certain sites with adsense or a +1 button or analytics or any other Google beacon.

Since they know which IP is logging in to places Google has determined are yours its rather simple to say woops, we know it's him because of where he is online but the ip is wrong and/or came from that proxy we have a problem with... warning!

We're all being tracked to that degree now. Your full browsing history is in Google's database unless you browse while signed out and/or opt out under your google account settings. You can see that data in your google control panel.


 11:36 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

See also: [webmasterworld.com...]


 7:34 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a site under my account that has been warned the wordpress blog updates are not current, and the site is at risk for being hacked. Good to know.

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