December 4, 2007 9:08 AM PST

Google calls for users to report malicious sites

Google is hoping users of its search engine will report "bad sites" to help the company fight criminals exploiting its infrastructure in order to distribute malicious software.

According to the Google security blog, the search giant already knows about hundreds of thousands of "bad" Web sites but is hoping that its users will add to the list by completing an online form to report malicious sites that are not already flagged.

The fight is important to Google because sites containing malicious software endanger the search giant's reputation by exploiting and infecting its users. This was described recently in a blog by security company Sunbelt.

Last year, Google started flagging sites listed in its search results that contain malicious software. When a bad site is selected, instead of being sent to the site, the user is shown a message saying, "Warning--the site you are about to visit may harm your computer!" Users then have the option to continue or return to the search page.

Google "independently checks the Web for badware and badware-linking code...using its own test procedures," according to StopBadware.org, which is working together with Google in its fight against malicious Web sites.

This is nothing new for security company McAfee, which already trawls the Web for sites hosting malicious software and has members of the public reporting bad sites to McAfee SiteAdvisor.

Google's flagging of bad sites is not nearly as comprehensive as SiteAdvisor, according to a McAfee representative.

SiteAdvisor sits in the browser and ranks all sites as red, yellow, or green. These are ranked via information on whether the site hosts malicious software; whether it is a spamming site, where entering your e-mail address could result in thousands of spam e-mails; whether the site is linked to sites hosting malicious software; or whether it is a scamming site, where some form of money scam is conducted.

In addition, if a user enters the URL of a rated Web site at SiteAdvisor, detailed information on the tests run and reasons for ranking the site are displayed. This helps a user decide whether he or she can still make use of the site while avoiding its bad elements.

According to McAfee, SiteAdvisor downloads are "running into the tens of millions."

Suzanne Tindal of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

See more CNET content tagged:
malicious software, Google Inc., McAfee Inc., security company, form

15 comments

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This is Days Late..and somewhat inaccurate
I thought this site was called News.com - not OLD News.com

Slashdot had this story on Saturday
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/01/2152228" target="_newWindow">http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/01/2152228</a>

InternetNews.com has this story on Friday:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3714041" target="_newWindow">http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3714041</a>

And the Google blog post itself was on Thursday:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2007/11/help-us-fill-in-gaps.html" target="_newWindow">http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2007/11/help-us-fill-in-gaps.html</a>
Posted by damonbock (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I have had trouble with this site http://clickarrows,com/go/to.php?id=clicksor I have tried to report it with norton but it minimizes every time i try and the previous web adress shows up on the report the only to get rid of it was to shut down.
Posted by tadawoods (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Experiencing with Firefox info, find out on my second network Comp. following unknown adresses:
www. ultrace. de/ipadresse, www. 1awebhosting.at. www. ieeddons.com, http://apl.bing.com.
Klaudio-Cromot
Posted by Cromot (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Cromot is an inovated agri-garten handtool for diging, raking &#38; cultivating, allowing an upright body position.To be or not to be choosing possibility of creating or parasiting - how tha sack stays upright?
Cromot
Posted by Cromot (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
this site www.stormfront.org is very ignorent and rediculous it needs to be taken down it is a hate site againgst african american people and jewish people it says that it is connected to google, twitter, facebook, and myspace! i am outraged and tis site needs to be band who do i talk to to make it happen?!
Posted by IZzzy20 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Be very careful with this website: (http://windowsexpert.us/system32.html)

It offers a solution for a WINDOWS system 32 error, but rather installs a malicious Trojan when downloading its fake tool.

My StopSign Firewall caught it, but others may not be as fortunate.
Posted by LonePuma (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
www.YayMovies.com is a bad site. Installs a program on your PC that keeps doing all sort of things.
Posted by savioonline (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Here is a site that needs to be taken down: http://topidolblog.com/2010/06/diy-duet-with-casey-james-on-jealous-guy/ ... this site goes onto other sites and steals copyright photos and personal blogs and post them onto this site...once they have posted your personal information on the attached site, they defame, ridicule and mock your work and your name. I work for lawyers and I would like to see this site removed from Google. It is a harmful site. Besides leaving this post, I am working on other ways to get this site taken down.
Posted by JPolino (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I would like to report : http://topidolblog.com/2010/06/diy-duet-with-casey-james-on-jealous-guy...This site which is administered by Melinda Green goes into a private group, copies and pastes comments from specific members (full names are disclosed)...seems to me that once a group has gone private this this should not be allowed...Their purpose is to defame and mock those who post in this site...Thank you in advance..
Posted by cccorgan (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
www.downone.info/ crashed my PC.
Posted by gsgomezintl (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
This site is using my name without my permission. Please removed it. This a very damaging to to me in all aspects of my life,

Delina Adea Petit as

awef@awef.ca <awef@awef.ca>
http://www.bodyawareness.in/node/491

Delina petit pas | Body Awareness
Board Resourcing and Development Office Delina Petit-Pas is a skilled Mediator/Facilitator and Business woman. Her career over the past 25 years has been ...
www.bodyawareness.in/node/4911 - cash
Posted by Medawin1 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
SERIOUS VIRUS DO NOT TRY TO DOWNLOAD THIS SITE TO YOUR PC...

http://search.bearshare.com/
Posted by PeacefulWind (1 comment )
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this site needs banning and removing from Google's index http://www.whitehonor.com/WRM/WRMMainpage.htm its truly disgusting that sites like this can be found or accessed via a simple google search for petroleum jelly its full of the most sickening racist filth and offers ideas for scumbag bigots to make weapons explosives and various instruments of torture i am all for the freedom of information but this is just plain wrong and the owners or admins should be jailed for a long long time
Posted by rekcahlive (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
What has Google done to make it easy for us to report malicious websites, software and badware to them? Oh, Google has this link, which is: http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/report_badware/ and which was very very hard to find, and I found it NOT on Google. So when you go there, the KILER CAPTCHA will make sure you will never report any badware. The captcha there fails all the time stating the same 414 error all the time:

414. That's an error.

The requested URL /safebrowsing/report_badware/Captcha... is too large to process. That's all we know.

Yes! That is ALL that they know! Is how to prevent you from hurting their buddies hackers, spyware and virus distribution specialists!
Posted by CSBsucksbigtime (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is the pot calling the kettle black right? One of the worst offenders on the net is Google itself with its own Blogspot and Blogger networks. Both known to house all sorts of "Bad sites" including those of Cyber Stalkers.

Google is extremely difficult in getting things removed and only seems to do so when it knows a court order is on the way. Very unprofessional and unethical company.
Posted by Matt_Wilkie (1 comment )
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