ScreenshotJanuary and February of 2012 have seen the rise of a large batch of bogus search engines characterized by using .info domains and a colorful header image. Some examples of this large family of fake search engines include and These bogus search engines are particularly nasty since they use a browser hijacker Trojan with a rootkit component to increase their own web traffic. uses colorful geometric shapes in its header image and, where other members of this fake search engine family display a list of malicious links divided into categories, simply displays a couple of text advertisements. Make no mistake about it; is part of an online scam that profits from infecting computer users' machines with malware.

Do You Find that Your Web Browser Takes You to Repeatedly?

If your web browser is making you to visit repeatedly, this is a definitive sign that your computer has become severely infected with malware. The main browser hijacker associated with and its family of bogus search engines goes by many names, some of which include the Redirecting Google Searches Trojan, the Google Redirect Virus, or the Google results hijacker. All of these names describe how this browser hijacker works; changes the links for the main results in a Google search so that they will take the computer user to instead of linking to the website relevant to that result. While the Google Redirect Virus itself can be removed with a reliable anti-malware application, it will often be part of a multi-component attack involving some version of the Alureon, TDSS, or ZeroAccess rootkits. This rootkit component allows malware to disable the victim's security software and also hides the browser hijackers from detection.

Does Your Security Software Say Everything is Fine Despite Constant Redirects?

Malware associated with will often go undetected due to the rootkit component mentioned above. ESG security researchers indicate that redirects to or to almost any other website are not normal. Inexperienced computer users may ignore them and believe that they are somehow part of how Google or other search engines work. Even if your security software indicates that everything is fine, redirects to the website indicate that there is something seriously wrong with your machine. ESG malware researchers advise using a specialized anti-rootkit tool and a reliable anti-malware program to scan and disinfect your computer system in order to stop redirects from occurring.

One Comment

  • visual:

    You are so awesome! I do not think I have read something like that before. So great to find somebody with a few original thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that's needed on the web, someone with a little originality!