August 7, 2006

Google warns on spyware sites

by Brian Turner


Google has joined an initiative, that will warn users if they are about to clickthrough to a website that may attempt to load spyware on their PC.

It means that if Google lists a website known to contain malware that attempts to infect visiting computers, Google will first display a warning page.

It comes as part of a wider initiative by the Stop Badware campaign, which aims to help alert internet users from accessing websites known to actively try to infect PC’s.

The move comes as part of wider concern about the accessibility of websites that may try to breach the security of a users PC.

This was highlighted by a report which showed a shocking number of websites for certain “keywords” were actively trying to be found – and infect – user PC’s.

These websites were either trying to be found passively in natural search results, or else were even running Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns to try and actively snare surfers.

While the move is certainly a laudable one, there are a couple of concerns.

Firstly, while visiting sites listed at Stop Badware on Google UK, no such warning was given. For example, is listed as dangerous at Stop Badware – yet Google UK offers no warning.

Secondly, websites that are only temporarily hacked may now find themselves unfairly tagged as a malware site.

This is because some hackers actively seek software with known exploits via search engines, in order to upload malware to the site. For webmasters with multiple sites, such breaches of security may not be noticed for some time.

However, even still, this will no doubt force webmasters to take extra time in ensuring that any software they use online is up to date – otherwise they could end up with a spyware label that could be hard to remove.

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Story link: Google warns on spyware sites


One Response to “Google warns on spyware sites”

  1. Platinax Small Business News » W3C opens secure web initiative on October 23rd, 2006 12:20 pm

    [...] Google has already tried to implement a system to help warn users when websites may be unsafe. [...]

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