Google sites forwarded to doubleclick.net

google-forward

This article explains how to remove viruses that cause your browsers to forward Google links to doubleclick.net. To test to see if you have this symptom, simply go to Google.com, and try to click on the “about google” link in the very bottom right corner. If your computer’s browser pulls up a message saying page cannot be displayed, after clicking on a link to a google-hosted site, and the address bar shows that the page had been forwarded to a doubleclick.net site instead, your computer is in fact infected with Malware. We’ve seen a few cases like this, and interestingly enough neither AVG, Malwarebytes, Kaspersky, nor Hitman Pro were able to find all infected files.

  • We started by uninstalling many unwanted programs (such as toolbars, old versions of Java, registry cleaners, and expired anti-virus programs)
  • Next, we booted Windows into Safe Mode.
  • We installed Malwarebytes, updated it and performed a full scan.
  • A scan with Kaspersky’s root-kit detector came up with no results.
  • We installed AVG and performed a full-system scan, and enabled scanning for tracking-cookies, as well as ‘thorough scanning’ and ‘Report enhanced set of Potentially Unwanted Programs’.
  • We also scanned the computer with Hitman Pro’s trial edition. Each of these came up with some different viruses, but the problem remained.
  • We finally reverted to an old remedy, which is the Avira Rescue Disc, it’s a tool you can burn to a CD and boot from. The link to download this tool is here.
  • After booting into this linux-based utility, we scanned the system’s hard-drive, and it found about 6 infected files. After cleaning these, the system booted fine and all symptoms have disappeared.

Please keep in mind that these steps may only lead to a solution in some situations, and we’ve also experienced various situations where running Avira Rescue Disc has deleted infected files that were actually system critical files, and had therefore broken the ability to boot into Windows. Therefore, you should always have a way to recover your system before performing this type of virus scan. Usually it’s enough to have a system restore point in place, but if you’re facing a really bad infection, you may need to prepare your customer for the possibility that the Operating system may need to be re-installed, should the virus cleansing lead to a corrupted Windows.

We hope that this experience will help you with your situation, and if any questions arise, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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