Malware Tops ‘Unsafe Website’ Report

Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 05:06 PM gHale


Most of the “unsafe website” warnings Google’s Safe Browsing program pushes to users on Google Search and in browsers stem from malware and not phishing.

The information comes as part of a new section in its ongoing Transparency Report project, a series of reports the search giant is issuing.

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In this version of the report, Google breaks down the number Safe Browsing warnings users see when malicious sites end up hosted across the globe and how prone websites are to re-infection after malware has been discovered on its servers.

The number of users who see a browser warning varies. The best stretch came from March 10-16 when nine million Google users saw warnings. The worst came last week, when 88 million users saw warnings about websites trying to steal their personal information and install malware on their machines. On average, this translates to about 100 million Google search results per week that contain a warning about a threat, malware or otherwise, that push out to users.

While the number of phishing sites increased, the largest chunk of the unsafe websites Google monitored over the years have pushed malware. Google said the Blackhole exploit kit and Gumblar are responsible for key malware shifts in its “Unsafe websites” notes section.

One billion people use the Safe Browsing service, which started in 2006; Google said the service flags up to 10,000 sites a day.

Google asserts the project and sharing information about malware and phishing fits alongside previous disclosures such as government requests to remove content and requests for user data, it has received.

“Sharing this information also aligns well with our Transparency Report, which already gives information about government requests for user data, government requests to remove content, and current disruptions to our services,” said Lucas Ballard, a software engineer with Google.



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