Jump to content


Photo

odd Google search results


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 venicecoot

venicecoot

    Member

  • Full Member
  • Pip
  • 62 posts

Posted 14 August 2010 - 11:25 AM

When I Google my wife's name I get some valid search results but I also get some very odd results. By odd I mean pages that are basically gibberish. The URLs are odd also --- sometimes what appear to be just a randomly generated series of letters, forwards slashes, the html. Within the series appears (.tv) which appears to be the Internet country code for Tuvala --- somewhere in Polynesia. What would cause this? Anything to be concerned about? This has been going on for quite a while now -- the odd search results are there one day, then go away and then different ones will be there next time. It's not always from Tuvala; last time it was Poland.

Edit: I forgot to mention that the name is a very unusual one. I basically know everyone with the last name and her given name isn't a common one either.

Edited by venicecoot, 14 August 2010 - 12:16 PM.


#2 Budfred

Budfred

    Malware Hound

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,531 posts

Posted 14 August 2010 - 01:43 PM

A number of malware programs are redirecting Google searches... Please read the FAQ and post logs in the Malware Removal forum...
Budfred

Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...

MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004

Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"

#3 venicecoot

venicecoot

    Member

  • Full Member
  • Pip
  • 62 posts

Posted 14 August 2010 - 02:13 PM

Maybe I'm not posting in the correct place, if so, I apologize. I don't think that this is malware related (as in malware in my pc)since the same search results come up when using other pcs also. My concern is that the page(s) the search directs one to may contain malware. In fact, I did the exact same search using Yahoo rather than Google, and again, in addition to valid pages, an odd search result appeared. When I clicked on to see what is was, my Avast! blocked the site due to a Trojan.

Edit: For clarity let me also say that her name DOES appear in the documents, but strangely making no sense. For example, one document reads "<< copy deleted in edit Aug 14, 2010>>"

Edited by venicecoot, 14 August 2010 - 06:23 PM.


#4 Budfred

Budfred

    Malware Hound

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,531 posts

Posted 14 August 2010 - 03:00 PM

If the odd results occur in the PCs you use in your home, they may all be infected with the same malware... If they occur in other PCs, like if I were to search for the same name, it suggests that something about her name is common to people who do SPAM... The example you posted is typical for pests who post SPAM using a lot of nonsensical comments interlaced with links to a business or malware... If that is the situation, you may want to be extremely careful when you do a search for her name to avoid clicking on any of those links and visiting those sites... At the least, use Firefox with NoScripts running... If the first situation is the case, post logs in Malware Removal...
Budfred

Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...

MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004

Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"

#5 venicecoot

venicecoot

    Member

  • Full Member
  • Pip
  • 62 posts

Posted 14 August 2010 - 06:21 PM

As I said, it doesn't matter what or whose pc you were to use, the same search results occur. I was hoping to get an understanding of how or why this (her) name would be being used in this manner and what one (she) could do to preclude these search results coming up in the future. In any case, I'm going to edit (delete) the example I posted since a search of that example DOES result in her name being shown and it comes up on any and all pcs. Question for anyone - is there another help forum that anyone can recommend that might help us better understand how we (she) can try to get herself off such spam type pages? Much like this forum's "how did I get infected" I am trying to find a "how did my name become a spam keyword?"
It would be unfortunate if I, a friend or family member or employer or potential future employer were to do a Google search and have the results be this kind of garbage.

#6 Budfred

Budfred

    Malware Hound

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,531 posts

Posted 14 August 2010 - 10:13 PM

As I said, it doesn't matter what or whose pc you were to use

Actually, you didn't say that, which is why I needed to offer two possibilities for what might be happening... Since you are saying that now, the second possibility is the likely one... Without knowing the name in question, it is not possible to say exactly why it is showing up in searches... However, it is likely that the name is one that is used in a game or some other location which these pests are likely to be able to pick it up from... In all probability, the basic reason is something called coincidence... However, feel free to ask in whatever other forums you would like... Given the information you are willing to provide (and the information you seem to think you have provided), it is likely you will not get a more satisfying answer... It is also extremely likely that there is nothing you can do about it, since SPAMmers tend to use the same material in their garbage by the thousands (or millions)... Since you edited out the example, rather than simply making it less recognizable, there is even less information to figure out the problem... Good luck...

Oh, your welcome for my efforts to help based on minimal information...
Budfred

Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...

MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004

Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"

#7 venicecoot

venicecoot

    Member

  • Full Member
  • Pip
  • 62 posts

Posted 15 August 2010 - 06:09 AM

Budfred,

I'm thinking that you are thinking that I'm not appreciative of your efforts and the work you and others put into this forum. Not the case! I am very appreciative of all of the volunteers on this forum!

In my very first post on this I had tried to explain that that the search results consist of both "valid" and also "odd". I had hoped that that would indicate that it wasn't a redirect malware. In my next post I tried to clarify by saying that the exact same results come up when using other PCs. The reason I then posted an exact quote from one of the "odd pages" was so that if you are someone had the interest and time that that phrase could be Googled and then you'd see the page I'm talking about. I then edited the phrase out for privacy reasons. I am certainly willing to post it again if someone is willing to see it.

I guess I'm just a bit frustrated (not at you ... but at the situation)if the final answer is to be "extremely careful when you do a search for her name to avoid clicking on any of those links and visiting those sites." It would be different if her name was something common but as I said, it's a very unique name and I am certain that she is the one and only with that name. If one were being background checked for a job you can't very well warn only to research using Firefox w/ NoScripts.

My comment about "is there a different help forum" was not to disparage you or this forum, but it was due to me recognizing that this forum's focus is on removal of malware from an infected computer and I am more trying to find out how to get the suspected malware stopped before it can get into the computer (mine, yours, anyone's).

Thanks for your effort.

#8 Budfred

Budfred

    Malware Hound

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,531 posts

Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:49 AM

And my point is, based on the information provided, the only logical conclusion is that her name somehow got mixed up in some text that they acquired to mask their SPAM, so there is really no way to remove it or avoid it...

The fact that some results are valid is irrelevant if you are using only one or more PCs in your home... Since you are referring to a wider array of PCs, then it is unlikely that it is due to malware...

The fact that her name is somehow unique is also irrelevant, as long as it has been published online in any format at any time, the SPAMmers can grab it and use it in their garbage posts... Once they do, it will show up in searches... Over time, it may fade away since they eventually switch to other material when the current material is flagged quickly and removed... If you look through SWI, you will not see any of these types of posts because we trash them as soon as we find them... As a result, ones posted here will generally not show up in Google searches... Unfortunately, a lot of forums are not as diligent... Also, it is not uncommon for someone getting an email with the SPAM in it to post it online asking about it... When that happens, it may show up a lot longer... Also unfortunately, it never really goes away, it simply falls lower and lower in the search results over time, especially if the search company is diligent about removing threats from their listings... I believe Google may actually delete the cache on SPAM and malware, but that depends on them actually finding it first and doesn't deal with all the other search engines that are not as diligent...

I am not aware of any forum that specializes in this kind of problem, largely because it is not really something that has a direct cause or solution... The reality is that eventually almost any term you search will likely show up with some SPAM or malware content since the malware criminals are churning this stuff out at the rate of thousands of new infections every week... If someone searches for her name, they need to use adequate protection in the search and there is very little you can do to assure their safety or manage what they might find... She can be conscious of what she posts online and avoid using her full name to avoid worsening the problem... If I search for my actual name online, I get very few hits because I have rarely used it...
Budfred

Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...

MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004

Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"

#9 venicecoot

venicecoot

    Member

  • Full Member
  • Pip
  • 62 posts

Posted 15 August 2010 - 08:20 AM

Thanks Budfred.

Maybe I'm just overly concerned. My wife is in the financial services industry. The only places where her full name has been used validly online is at LinkedIn and her name also appears in a couple of real news articles that mention her profession and position. Again, my concern may be overstated, but if the offending pages somehow have malware written in them so as to capture financial info, not so much hers but others (i.e.: clients) then it becomes a big concern. One more complex question(s) if you will -- you say "it may fade away since they eventually switch to other material when the current material is flagged quickly and removed." How is such flagged? If there is a way to flag it, can I flag it? Is there a way to submit the questionable URLs so as to have the URL itself scanned for malware/virus? Thanks for your time and patience!

#10 Budfred

Budfred

    Malware Hound

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,531 posts

Posted 15 August 2010 - 08:57 AM

Google has a reporting service which you can find on their website... I haven't used it myself, so I am not sure how it works...

WebOfTrust

https://addons.mozil...fox/addon/3456/

and McAfee's SiteAdvisor both provide the option for users to report sites... Unfortunately, if the SPAM is just a post in a forum, it is unlikely the whole site is responsible and they may not mark it as bad... You can also contact the site owners/admins directly and let them know about the SPAM, as long as the site is not simply neglected... Most forum software includes an option to report posts... You can see that we have that option here...

Other search engines may have reporting options, though Google is the one that has made a point of it... I imagine Bing must have one because they are trying to replace Google and MicroSoft tends to match programs that they compete with... If you make the rounds of the search sites, keep in mind that some of the more obscure ones are actually malware based and will attempt to infect your computer and/or steal your information to SPAM you... The well known ones are generally safe...

There are also a number of SPAM reporting options:

http://www.google.co...lient=firefox-a

Again, be cautious since some of these could be the criminals setting a trap... SPAM COP and SpanHaus have been around a long time, so they are generally legit... A number of ISPs will use the SPAM database to set up filters, so this can be a good way to reduce the number of sites that get through and pressure the origination site to fix the problem...
Budfred

Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...

MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004

Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"

#11 venicecoot

venicecoot

    Member

  • Full Member
  • Pip
  • 62 posts

Posted 15 August 2010 - 09:51 AM

Thanks. What I found on Google is a method to report URLs to be removed from their search. That was found here: https://www.google.c.../tools/removals

I wish that there was a method to "flag" but the URLs are not message boards or anything of that sort. The entire URLs are simply pages of gibberish with various key words, including my wife's name, mixed in with the nonsense. And the URLs are always in overseas (to me, being in USA) countries, in this last case, Tuvala. Example would be: rimdtb.ivjvdwvkbggsnah.co (dot) tv/ugkgxw.html

I'm guessing that these URLs are basically search engine spams for cookie stuffing, but then again, I'm surely no expert.

Whether what I've now done, by submitting to Google, which actually work remains to be seen.

thanks again.

Edited by venicecoot, 15 August 2010 - 02:59 PM.





Member of UNITE
Support SpywareInfo Forum - click the button