June 25, 2013

1 Billion Google Safe Browsing Users

"Safe Browsing is a service provided by Google that enables applications to check URLs against Google's constantly updated lists of suspected phishing and malware pages." It's used by a lot of popular desktop browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, so it must be the most popular malware detection service.

According to Google, "approximately one billion people use Google Safe Browsing. We help tens of millions of people every week protect themselves from harm by showing warnings to users of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari when they attempt to navigate to websites that would steal their personal information or install software designed to take over their computers." Google currently flags up to 10,000 sites a day.

The 1 billion number is interesting because it's an approximation of the number of desktop users for 3 important browsers: Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Google has recently reported that Chrome has 750 million active users, but this number includes mobile Chrome (and the mobile Chrome doesn't use Safe Browsing yet without enabling the data compression proxy). Firefox has about 450 million users. Last year, Google reported 600 million Safe Browsing users and in 2011 the number was 400 million. It's likely that these stats don't include the Mobile Safari, which probably switched to a different provider.

Here's a graph that shows the number of users who see warnings per week:

A few weeks ago, "a campaign targeting vulnerabilities in Java and Acrobat Reader infected more than 7,500 sites. As a result, more than 75 million Safe Browsing API users received malware warnings."

Safe Browsing is also used by Google Search. Here's a graph that shows the number of Google search results per week that contain a warning about threats to users:

There's a map that shows information about the percentage of sites hosting malware for each country. Some examples: US - 2%, Canada, China and UK - 5%, Brazil and Australia - 7%, Russia - 8%, Spain - 9%, Germany - 10%, Turkey - 11%, Mexico -12%, Thailand - 13%, India - 14%.

Google also shows the malware distribution by autonomous system. "An autonomous system is one or more networks controlled by a single entity, often a large company, a university, or an ISP. (...) Autonomous systems are part of the network layer of the Internet's architecture, and they play a role in determining how traffic is routed across the web." Google offers an alert system for network admins. "The goal is to provide network administrators with information of malicious content that is being hosted on their networks."

{ via Google Blog }