While searching for tips on removing malware, your chances of encountering bad and malicious ads or links increases greatly. In fact cyber-criminals use Search Engine Optimization or SEO, as their prime method of gathering Web surfers. Last April a Top Ten List of celebrity searches was published claiming that surfers were more likely to land on either fake sights or hijacked sites. They listed Jessica Biel as the number one celebrity search in 2009 most likely to land you on a bad site with malware. But you would never be searching for news on celebrities, right? Recently someone I know was searching Old English literature and was the recipient of a drive-by download of the famous WinAntiVirus2009. My point is any search can produce a site that is either infected, hijacked or redirects you to another site with bad intentions.
If searches are dangerous, just how do you search for solutions to an infection on your computer? In my opinion, only research how to get rid of malware on a clean machine. Very often the malware will be coded to intercept or redirect browsing when trying to go to the major anti-virus vendors or related sites. Searching for methods to rid a computer of malware on an infected machine will usually only get the user more chances for further infection.
Does this mean an end to searching on Yahoo, Bing or Google? Of course not. It simply means that the more informed you are the better off you will be and the better you can protect yourself and your computer.
Let's break down one of the typical scareware or malware sites that people often see just before infection occurs. In the image I have circled some of the key points and will break them down in order from top left to bottom right. Let's begin (click the image below to enlarge it).