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Adware Now Capable Of Hijacking Google Results

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Adware and spyware have become, next to viruses, some of the more nefarious types of software on the Internet. However, there has been very little word of adware affecting search engine results, until now.

Discuss this article and other topics at WebProWorld.

Adware Terrorist: Hijacking the Internet 24/7....
Adware Terrorist: Hijacking the Internet 24/7….

According to reports at SERoundtable, there have been some victims of an adware variation that causes the infected users browser to display ads appearing as search engine results. The adware program does not manipulate the results themselves, just what listing you see in the browser.

As “Nick W”, said at the SEW forums, “They don’t actually manipulate the G(oogle) results, just what your browser shows you on the page.”

The originating site for the adware in question, as reported by SERoundtable, is webthiswebthat.com. Other current search-related adware programs attempt to drive you to their search presence in order to display the ads they are associated with. However, this particular adware apparently manipulates the results you see in your browser.

I was recently infected with an adware program associated with MySearch. This particular program hijacked my homepage (Google), and redirected me to their “search engine.”

From reading the SERoundtable report, it sounds as if the adware that infected the user operates along similar lines. The difference being instead of redirecting you, the adware alledgely alters the Google results that your browser displays in order to display their own ads, disguised as organic Google results.

The idea of search engine results being altered, masked, or manipulated is wholly undesirable. Nick adds this thought, “Personally, I think they should start ‘getting’ these folks, I’m all up for (people) making a buck but messin’ with my search results? I don’t think so.”

If you are infected with this or any other adware, you will need to sanitize your computer in order to prevent the program from affecting you. The most obvious method is to run any of the available adware/spyware removal programs. The following is a list of effective removal programs, courtesy of SERoundtable:

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.

However, SER’s report indicates that the adware in question is not so easy to remove, “to add insult to injury, once you remove the adware, it will come back next time you start up your computer.”

His list indicates that Spy Sweeper is the most effective tool for removing the offending program. As a rule of thumb, I always employ at least two of the programs mentioned when I scan my box for malicious programs.

I am curious as to whether the other programs will completely remove the offending adware. I posed this question (under wpn noob) in the SEW forum.

Read more about this subject at the SearchEngineWatch forum.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

Adware Now Capable Of Hijacking Google Results
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