According to The Google Watchdog, a spammer recently infiltrated Google's search index. In fact, Google Watchdog Joe says, "This is the first time that I've ever been worried that Google's own index has been hacked."
The Inquirer highlights the events of the hack. It appears that some search results are returning Chinese sites, which are easily identified by their .cn suffix. These malicious .cn sites, which appear before the valid returns, give users more they bargain for:
When a punter clicks on one of the .cn sites, they are sent to an entirely different page which attempts to install one or more pieces of malware on the user's computer.
The Google Watchdog whines suggestively that the the faked sites are redirecting the Googlebot to a location where content can be indexed, while at the same time recognizing normal users and redirecting them to a site that includes the malware.
This information is a great reminder that you can never be too sure when you're clicking links on the Internet, even when you're on a site that has a fairly solid reputation for being secure.
Does this spam hack make you lose some trust in Google? Is there a different search engine that you prefer? If so, which one and why?
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Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.