Adware called PremiumSearch is redirecting Google, Yahoo and MSN users to spoofed searched engines in an attempt to raise cash from their site visits, according to security software company Panda.
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Panda says the adware installs a fake Google toolbar on the user’s machine and sets the victim's browser home page to the PremiumSearch search engine, regardless of the setting displayed in the browser.
The adware also uses a DNS poisoning technique to rewrite the Hosts file on the infected user’s computer to redirect requests for Google.com, MSN.com and Yahoo.com to an IP address hosting spoofed versions of these search engines.
Panda says users' machines become infected with the adware if they are redirected to a web page after visiting pirate software or porn sites.
Panda said the spoofed search engines were probably being hosted by infected bot computers without their owners’ knowledge.