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Google Finds Malware Hosted on Chinese News Agency Site

In a report from Google, the website of Xinhua, a news agency run by the China government, was discovered to be serving malware, as per the news published by ITPRO on May 6, 2010.

As per the search engine, www.xinhuanet.com/newscenter is a dubious website capable of causing damage to users' PCs. Covering a period of 90 days, Google examined 4 pages of the website and found that one of them led to the download of malware without user's consent.

Specifically, the Xinhua website's "news center" section that exhibits the agency's news items contained a Trojan and a scripting exploit, as revealed during the test. Nevertheless, when another test/scan was done after 10 days, the site didn't reveal any suspicious content. However, the page continues to be listed as potentially damaging among Google search results.

Besides, three domains have been found that host the malware. These are chaoguqu.com/, 21site.info/ and msx-1.info/ of which 2 seem to act as third-party domains involved in serving malware onto the computers visiting the website.

Meanwhile, in the opinion of government security experts, a number of factors can be responsible for an Internet site to disseminate malicious software. Of them, one relates to intermediary attackers who introduce malware into a website without consent.

Recently, several websites were overwhelmed with malware attacks, with the latest Xinhua attack making an addition. The reputed online sites like the Philadelphia Tribune news website and the U.S. Treasury website also suffered malware attacks, which were detected by security company Sophos and AVG respectively.

In the meantime, it is notable that Google issued a malware alert among its search results during 2009 for a web page of the People's Daily online site, the Communist Party of China's official mouthpiece. When local media produced the news, it quoted the site's representative as condemning Google because the latter issued the alert that demonstrated "vile behavior."

But, Google turned down the allegations as incorrect, while claiming that its scanners were quite perfect. The company also said that it posted the alerts beside those search results, which it suspected as distributing malware.

Related article: Google Rectifies Gmail flaw in Three Days

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