How do I report a security problem to Firefox?
Wednesday morning my Mac at home got infected by malware which I believe is usually called the "Google redirect virus". My Mac at home has been upgraded to OSX 10.6.7 and I believe I was using Firefox 3.6.13 (it automatically upgraded tonight). I haven't been able to find any useful information on line about this malware. <br />
The behavior after infection was that every time I tried to use Google my request would get redirected. If I entered www.google.com in the address bar, the URL would get changed to www.google.com/FuneralHomes/<something> and the browser would try to go there and a "Under Construction" error message or a no-such-page message would be returned. This started happening after I did a Google search and was checking various links in Firefox, but once it started in Firefox I got the same behavior in Safari even without using Safari to look at any links. And it continued to happen in Safari even after I did a "Reset Safari..." <br />
When I got infected I was using a non-adminstrator account and I was not asked to download anything nor was I prompted for a password. <br />
I searched on "Google redirect Mac virus" using my (so far) untouched work computer and found several suggestions but no solutions. Apparently this is a PC problem that's been around a few years, but there were some Mac reports from last year. So last night I checked the DNS addresses in my
Network preferences, looked at /etc/hosts, and removed the only plug-in from the Library:Internet Plug-ins of the infected account, even though it was a Picasa plug-in that predated this infection. None of those seemed to be the problem. I also scanned my disk with an up-to-date "Norton AntiVirus" which
I got from work some time ago, but it found no viruses. <br />
What really puzzles me is that the problem gradually went away while I was checking it last night. At first, when I entered www.google.com the browser would still show the redirected address in the prompt that comes up and it had the Legacy.com logo on the left instead of the Google one but it would actually go to the Google website (unless I'm being spoofed). Then at a later attempt, only the wrong logo persisted. Then at an even later attempt the logo got fixed and everything looked fine and appeared to behave correctly. <br />
Frankly, that's a little scary. It's as if a really smart trojan got
installed and was covering its tracks while it set up a man-in-the-middle attack (please advise if I'm misusing the jargon). If I'm being too paranoid, great, but I'd still like to know how such behavior could be induced on my machine just by linking to a website. Can anyone help?
''moderator- fixed the leading space formatting errors in this posting''
Thanks, the-edmeister, but the only relevant post I found was from GB Colburn on bleepingcomputer.com, wherein he reported a similar problem about a year ago. I've found a few similar threads in the last year or so (by searching "Google redirect mac virus" in Google) but they are all about the same: someone reports the problem, responders have various random suggestions, the problem seems to go away by itself (at least sometimes), and there's nothing conclusive either good or bad.
Without myself being as knowledgeable as GB Colburn, it doesn't look to me like the problem is in the DNS system or the router. It acts more like some malware in the automatic completion in the address bar of the browser or maybe in the history system, but I can't figure out how an infection in one browser could affect another browser. And I *really* can't figure out how it could be self-healing.
It's really frustrating that none of the major parties involved in this—Firefox, Google, Safari (Apple), Verizon (my internet provider)—even have a process for reporting a security issue. At least not one that I, an ordinary semi-naive user, can find.