October 1, 2016

The Internet is a dangerous place says Google

(LiveHacking.Com) – To mark the five-year anniversary of the launch of its Safe Browsing initiative Google has released some interesting facts and figures about the dangers of the Internet, the most shocking being that Google find about 9,500 new malicious websites every day. The Internet is truly a dangerous place.

Of the 9,500 new malicious websites which Goolge detects daily,  some are innocent websites that have been hacked to serve up malware, while the others that are built specially for the purpose of distributing malware. As a result of these daily finds, Google displays over 300,000 download warnings every day via its download protection service that is built-in to Chrome.

Elements of the Safe Browsing service are built into Chrome, Firefox, and Safari and as a result some 600 million users are protected by this service. According to Google, approximately 12-14 million Google Search queries per day result in a web browser showing a warning advising users not to visit a currently compromised site.

Google’s service checks for two types of danger on the Internet – Phishing and Malware. Phishing sites are those who try to trick a user into revealing a username and password for a well-known site like eBay or PayPal. Modern phishing strategies include fast turn-around and the additional use of malware. In this context fast turn-around means sites that come and go very quickly in an attempt to avoid detection. Some phishing webpages (URLs) remain online for less than an hour. Phishing sites can also use the look and feel of popular sites to trick users into installing malware by offering it as browser extension. The number of phishing sites has peaked in 2012 with over 300,000 new phishing sites found per month.

The good news on the malware front is that the number of dangerous sites found due to hacking has dropped to “just” 150,000 per month, down from over 300,000 a month in 2009. However the number of specially created websites, designed just to deliver malware, remains high with about 10,000 site discovered per month. This is slightly down from a high of 12,000 per month at the end of 2010.

How to stop yourself becoming a victim? Don’t ignore browser warnings. Since legitimate sites can be hacked and modified to contain malware, don’t visit a website if a browser warning is shown, no matter how well-known the website is to you.

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