Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Beware of Google Search worm

Downloaders looking for a free "Star Wars" game may instead find themselves installing a new worm that gives them dodgy Google search results.

The worm, called P2Load.A, is being spread on P2P (peer-to-peer) programs like Shareaza and Imesh, masquerading as a free version of the Lucasfilm Ltd. game Knights of the Old Republic II.

When the software is installed, it makes changes to the computer's browser so that any user trying to access Google Inc.'s search engine is instead presented with a Google look-alike page, hosted on a server in Germany.

Even users who mistype the www.google.com address are redirected to the fake site, which also supports the same range of languages as Google.com. This redirection is achieved by modifying the hosts file in the infected computer's operating system, which is a kind of address book used to quickly connect the browser to Web sites.

P2Load.A affects Windows computers running either the Firefox or Internet Explorer browsers.

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