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Google Analyzes Millions of Web Pages To Study Malicious Sites

Google researchers presented a paper entitled "The Ghost in the Browser" at the Usenix HotBots '07 conference in April this year. The paper described a study of a detailed analysis of 4.5 million Web pages that were abridged from a sophisticated analysis of numerous URLs. News.Digitaltrends published this as news on May 11, 2007.

The researchers found that around 700,000 Web pages appeared to have code that could take over the control of users' computers. Further around 450,000 or 1 in 10 pages could set off "drive-by downloads" capable of planting malicious software about which the user would not know. The malicious software could include keyloggers, spyware, and software capable of converting a PC into a zombie to generate spam.

The researchers found that some sites distributed malware through banner advertisements or what is called "widgets" on which the site operator had no control. Some sites would join with advertising services or networks, which offered utilities on pages including statistics, calendars or media players. These utilities, however, referred to other sites that would try to install malicious software.

The sites presented the user with links that gave access to exciting pages with exclusive pornographic material, copyrighted software or media. Commonly these sites displayed adult video, Provos wrote. News.bbc.co published this as news on May 11, 2007.

The Internet search giant Google has started an initiative to pick out all web pages suspicious of containing malware. Finding such web-based infection areas poses a severe challenge and requires total web knowledge. It also requires labeling of pages that will indicate users which sites to avoid thereby reducing infection on users' PCs, Google researchers wrote in their paper, as published by Clickdocs.co on May 11, 2007.

As part of the StopBadware coalition, Google already alerts users by a message; "this site may harm your computer" it posts along with search results for potentially harmful websites that users may be about to visit.

Average computer users are least protected from threats that are getting more sophisticated and exploits becoming more complicated and hard to analyze wrote Provos. News.Digitaltrends published this as news on May 11, 2007.

Related article: Google Rectifies Gmail flaw in Three Days

» SPAMfighter News - 5/19/2007

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