Malware on Google Scholar

July 31, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Posted in Scams and Malware | Leave a comment
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Centipede Scolopendra cingulata - Ventral side of head, showing mandibles. Frouzet, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, photographed 31 May 2006 by Fritz Geller-Grimm.

Centipede Scolopendra cingulata – Ventral side of head, showing mandibles. Frouzet, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, photographed 31 May 2006 by Fritz Geller-Grimm.

On 2018-07-30, I used Google Scholar to see what had been published on a rather specialized topic in physics.

The web page of results was useful, so I tried to save it into my folder on that topic.

But the anti-malware program on my computer refused to place a copy of that web page into that folder. Instead, the anti-malware program said that the web page of results carried malware, and would be placed into a quarantine folder. So malware can lurk even on a scholarly site such as Google Scholar.

The users of Google Scholar are few, so it is unlikely that they would be the target of the type of malware motivated by omnivorous greed. The users of Google Scholar are more likely to be the target of those who want to pilfer research techniques, computer codes, and unpublished results, or who want to pretend to be personnel at academic or industrial research institutions, or who want to obtain entry into the specialized computer networks that some researchers use, possibly to seize immediate or future control of those computers, or to hold for ransom the data and codes that reside on them.

Centipede, rear pair of legs (in Greece), photographed 6 August 2009 by NNeilAlieNN.

Centipede, rear pair of legs (in Greece), photographed 6 August 2009 by NNeilAlieNN.

If malware can lurk in Google Scholar, it can also lurk on Google maps, Facebook, YouTube, and on other social media. The only time my computer was infected by a virus was when I downloaded classical music from YouTube.

It would be cumbersome for individual users to have to scan for malware every web page they visit, every email, and every tweet.

It would be much more feasible, and much more efficient, if Google, Facebook, YouTube, and the like frequently ran disinfecting scans over their entire content files. The disinfecting would be most effective if it occurred at random times.

Malware statistics on 2011-03-16 (Panda Security), 21 March 2011, translated to English by Kizar,  from 'Malware statics 2011-03-16-es.svg'  .

Malware statistics on 2011-03-16 (Panda Security), 21 March 2011, translated to English by Kizar, from ‘Malware statics 2011-03-16-es.svg’ .

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