Malware on PCs and other devices can lead to all sorts of serious issues. From Ransomware to DDoS activity. Another symptom of malware that I come across a lot is when a Google displays the message “Google has detected unusual traffic from your network” when users search for something. The reason Google detects something is that they are probably receiving loads of automated searches from your IP addresses. Typically these searches are automated by Malware installed on one or more systems inside your network. Your options are very limited when this happens. One thing would be to ignore it but each time you want to search for something you will have to solve a CAPTCHA (a squiggly word with a box below it). The recommended approach would be to find out what is causing the problem in the first place. The Google notification will give you very little to go on so the main priority is to get visibility as to what is happening on your network. Forget about SNMP or NetFlow, you will need lots of detail to get to the root cause and neither of these protocols will do this. An ideal data source is a SPAN or mirror port. This will give you access to network packets or wire data as I hear some people describe it. A SPAN port will give you access to crucial information like IP addresses, host-names, web domain names, email addresses, application payloads, or MAC addresses. Once you have your SPAN port setup you just need to install LANGuardian and take a look at what is happening. Watch out for systems connecting to external IP addresses or hosts associated with lots of traffic associated with the Google domains. LANGuardian will also associate this network activity with usernames so you know who is causing the problem. See below for a recent quote from a customer. In this case they did not use LANGuardian to investigate a Google issue. However, it does goes to show how customers are really happy using LANGuardian to find out what is happening on their networks. “LANGuardian is a crucial part of our investigation tools within the network, gets right into what’s happening” James Barnes, ICT Team Leader, Ayrshire College, Scotland. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our support team if you are having an issue with a Google notification. You can also download a free trial of LANGuardian which can help you get to the root cause of any issues fast.
Thanks to NetFort for the article.