In a hugely damaging revelation following last weekend's outage on Google, it was claimed today that by using the correct key sequence it is possible to delete entries from Google's search result listings. From then on, the same search will miss out the deleted page links.
Hackers posted the sequences on various websites and then waited for the inevitable chaos to ensue. However, quick-thinking Google employees read the postings and then used the key sequences to delete all mention of them.
The so-called 'natural' search listings in question are the lists of pages displayed when you try to find something in Google. These are not to be confused with the Adword advertisements that are also displayed (usually on the right hand side), and which are only ever clicked on by companies attempting to rack up huge bills for their competitors.
To make matters worse, it also became apparent that if the deleted page link happens to be a Wiki - type page which allows users to add or alter information, then the actual content of the page itself is also deleted. In a panic reaction, Wikipedia, the online open encyclopaedia, shut down their site for several hours "in order to protect the integrity of literally hundreds of entries".
Many anti-virus companies were offering important advice about the hack, including Sophos which increased their threat rating from Blue-7 to Epsilon. Vulnerable home users were being advised to rush out to purchase the latest and very slightly different update for their particular Anti-virus system at £49.99.
Google were seen to be mounting a damage limitation exercise this afternoon by claiming that they had a fix for the exploit 'almost ready to write', and that 'lots of the links are rubbish anyway'.
Nobody we spoke to knew who had given the hack the name Zumziblatoo, or why.