Could it be a clue malware provoked it?
I'm NOT saying this was (or is) the case. You wondered if it could have been a clue malware provoked it. IF it was malware .. and IF you took no action against it .. it would still be there.
Something you may find of interest. It's not meant to scare you, but only to let you know what we're up against these days.
One of the posts in the News thread at the beginning of the week, made reference to a blog post titled, "Rootkit infection sporadically redirects search results in hopes users 'just live with it'
Some excerpts from it:
Recently we have seen an increase in fake installer scams attempting to trick computer users into installing disguised rootkits directly on their machines. In this post, we want to highlight how a scam like this can be installed and infect a machine, including behavior to watch out for....
In the case of this infection, we are utilizing a bogus Adobe Flash Player installer. Normally, this file would be downloaded from a website after a message stating "You need the latest version of Flash to view this video" appears...
⇒ Since this is a rootkit, there are no toolbars/extensions/BHO's added to the browser. There are also no modified proxy settings or modified hosts files. What is interesting about this rootkit sample is that the redirects do not happen every time. The action will occur about once every three attempts, where the user will get redirected to a series of sites that are shown below.⇐
⇒ The number of redirects caps out around 4-5 and then everything will seem normal until a restart of the browser. This erratic action can make it extremely difficult to troubleshoot. It can also prove to be very frustrating for a user to explain as it is not consistent and once the redirection occurs enough times, the issue stops for the rest of the browsing session. We have seen instances where consumers have just been "living with it" for months.⇐
(The underlining and arrows are mine)
I'm glad to hear everything is back to normal!
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