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Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Google Blocks 9,500 Malicious Websites Every Day

Google finds about 9,500 new malicious websites every day and show warnings to protect users, as part of the company's Safe Browsing initiative.

Launched five years ago, Safe Browsing is an initiative designed to keep people safe from malicious content online. Google's goal was to safeguard Google's search results against malware (software capable of taking control of your computer) and phishing (fraudulent websites that entice users to give up their personal information).

Google says it protects 600 million users through built-in protection for Chrome, Firefox and Safari, where the company shows several million security warnings every day to Internet users. When malware or phishing is detected, Google triggers a red warning screen that discourages clicking through to the website.

In addition, approximately 12-14 million Google Search queries per day warn users about current malware threats, and Google provides malware warnings for about 300 thousand downloads per day through its download protection service for Chrome.

The company also sends thousands of notifications daily to webmasters. When webmasters sign up for Webmaster Tools, Google gives them the option to receive warning notices if something malicious is found on their site.

According to Google's data collected so far, online commerce sites are still favorite phishing targets because phishers are motivated by money. Some tried-and-true phishing methods are still used, but attacks are also getting more creative and sophisticated. Attacks are faster, with phishers sometimes remaining online for less than an hour to try to avoid detection. They're also more geographically dispersed and are getting more targeted.

Malware authors often compromise legitimate sites to deliver content from a malicious attack site or to redirect to an attack site. These attack sites will often deliver "drive-by downloads" to visitors, which launch and run malware programs on their computers without their knowledge. To try to avoid detection, these attack sites adopt several techniques, such as rapidly changing their Internet location with free web hosting services and auto-generated domain names.

Google advises webmasters to help protect their visitors by signing up for malware warnings at Google Webmaster Tools. These warnings are free and will help Google inform them if we find suspicious code on their sites.

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