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August 3, 2006

Malware Warnings on Google Search Results

Someone sent me a very nice tip: Google started to show malware warnings for some of the search results. If you search for list keygen mirc (which is a bad thing, but mIRC should be free anyway), and click on the first result, Google will display this page:

Of course, you can still go to the page, but Google warned you.

Google and Sun Microsystems fund a non-profit anti-spyware group called StopBadware and this is one of Google's contributions to the project. " was established in an effort to preserve this positive ability to generate and share information by exploring ways to solve the badware problem. With the advice and input of a panel of internet experts, we isolated seven categories of behaviors that many users reported as unwanted in software they download: deceptive installations, unclearly identification, causing harm to other computers, modifying other software, transmitting user data, interfering with computer use, and being difficult to uninstall completely."

It's interesting to see if the list of results that include malware has been compiled manually or algorithmically. Google usually doesn't like the manual approach.

There are many solutions that provide safety ratings for sites. One of the most popular is SiteAdvisor, a plug-in for Internet Explorer and Firefox. When you search with Google, SiteAdvisor displays different colors (green, yellow, red) next to the search results to show you if they are safe.

{ Thanks for the tip, Anoymous. }

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