Thursday, April 15, 2010

Googleless


I seem to have some sort of strange web virus. Yesterday, it left me confused for awhile as I tried to go to Google and found myself instead at the Stanford homepage (which I had never previously visited). Thinking that my search for some computer science related term had somehow landed me there, I tried other ways of getting to Google. No such luck. All paths led to Stanford. Try going to update this blog? Stanford (with a "this page does not exist" error). Google news? Stanford. Gmail? Stanford. Another web browser entirely? Stanford. It seems that the virus somehow does a string replace for "google.com" with "stanford.edu." Great. Without Google, I even had trouble searching to find anything out about the virus. Resorting to the tried-and-true method of computer geeks everywhere, I restarted my computer. It's almost back to normal (note the Stanford mini-icon):



Of course, all searches containing both Google and Stanford just lead to information about Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Thinking myself free, except for the mini-icon haunting, I celebrated with many Google searches. Now all attempts to get to facebook take me to Windows Live...

4 comments:

John Moeller said...

You could try Ctrl-F5, that might refresh the icon.

sorelle said...

Thanks! I actually reset everything which did the trick. Though now my browsers crash just about anytime anything Flash shows up.... now I understand why Apple refuses to handle it anymore.

Adam said...

Could be a bad DNS resolution that got cached. Caching also explains the Stanford icon that remained.

jyby said...

People from NIC-labs claim having discovered that several of China's DNS servers have started returning other IPs for websites such as Google and Facebook, probably on orders from the Chinese government.

While the Chinese government probably thought it would only alter Chinese people, that's not the way the net works: the DNS server which answers the fastest is the closest, and computers of North and South America (not to say Asia) end up using Chinese DNS servers quite frequently.

That seems to me as the most sensible explanation, yet I am confused about the redirection to Stanford...