New Google "ei" URL paramater

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by mbav, Aug 31, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. mbav

    mbav Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Posts:
    5
    This morning I noticed that Google is now appending a new "ei" parameter to it's URL redirects. At least, I HOPE it's Google. For example:

    https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=cr&ei=84jdh693GJ7dh4H99JYgd7

    Naturally my paranoia meter immediately went into the red ("OMG browser hijacked") but I run a tight security ship so it's very unlikely. The "gws_rd=cr" has been there for a while and I know that's legit (researched it months ago) but the "ei" is new.

    Anyone else seeing this or should I actually BE worried? :eek:

    Thanks!
     
  2. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Posts:
    6,855
    If you're that paranoid about it why not use startpage instead? Google results which are unlikely to be targeted by malware due to popularity.
     
  3. Wallaby

    Wallaby Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Posts:
    156
    What I am seeing today is that Google is with https
    https://www.google.com/

    I never noticed it... is it an old news?
    I always thought it was http
     
  4. mbav

    mbav Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Posts:
    5
    BTW, you will probably only see this if you visit http://www.google.com from outside the US. Google redirects you to the relevant local site and appends "gws_rd=cr" to the redirected URL. I'm used to seeing that part but the "ei" is new so it had me scratching my head for a bit. Pretty sure it's legitimately added by Google though (and not some malware that hijacked my browser etc.).
     
  5. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Posts:
    20,967
    Location:
    U.S.A.
  6. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Posts:
    20,967
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    FYI. Google search parameters in 2012: -http://www.rankpanel.com/blog/google-search-parameters/- (see Other Factors section).
     
  7. mbav

    mbav Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Posts:
    5
    The parameter itself isn't new but I've never seen it appended to a country redirect before. It only caught my eye because my browser homepage is set to http://www.google.com but I'm in Canada at the moment. Seeing a random 22 character code tacked onto the end my home page URL that wasn't there before looked a bit suspicious. :eek:

    I have however been able to verify with other colleagues in Canada that they're seeing the same thing today so whatever the reason, it's not malicious. :p
     
  8. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Posts:
    20,967
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Good to know. Thanks for posting back.
     
  9. Wallaby

    Wallaby Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Posts:
    156
  10. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Posts:
    20,967
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Wallaby, you're welcome! Take care.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.