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26 June 2013, 11:15

Google's Transparency Report shows malware spread

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Source: Google
It is now possible to see the statistics on the presence of malware and of sites linking to malware, thanks to Google's latest move to make its data more transparent. Google has announced that it is expanding its transparency reporting to include statistics from its Safe Browsing programme. The Transparency Report, which also carries information about copyright removal requests and government agencies' and courts' demands for user data now has a Safe Browsing section. As part of that Safe Browsing data, Google is identifying autonomous systems (AS) on the internet and how much malware they contain. This is available through a Malware Dashboard.

According to the search company's statistics, in the UK over the last three months, the AS of Compuweb Communications Services has had 1,514 of its sites scanned by Google and 20% of them have been found to be leading to or hosting malware. This isn't a complete scan of the AS though; Google's figures show that only 5% of the hosts belonging to the company were scanned. For the UK as a whole, 5% of the 326,201 sites scanned hosted or linked to malware. The US scores a remarkably low 2% on this metric with over 14 million sites scanned for contamination. In the US and on a global scale, a company called Webair Internet Development Inc tops the chart with 43% of its sites, in a 2% sample, linking or hosting malware.

Google's Safe Browsing system is now in use by around a billion people. Google's own Chrome browser, Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari all make use of the Safe Browsing data to warn users when they try and navigate to malicious web sites. In a timetable that isolates events of interest, Google picks out some important peaks, such as on 2 June this year when a campaign that targeted Java and Adobe Reader vulnerabilities infected 7,500 sites and generated 75 million Safe Browsing warnings.


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