Google protecting the unwary
Posted by Gunter Ollmann on November 10, 2006 at 6:52 PM EST.

I noticed something ‘new’ today after using Google to search for some malware samples.  I don’t normally use Google for this kind of thing, but I figured I’d see if it returned with a few different URL’s that I hadn’t encountered before.  By ‘new’ I mean it may be stuff that has been there for quite some time, but this was the first time I’d ever encountered it.

What I discovered was that Google are now presenting unwary surfers with an interception page warning that the site you are about to visit “may harm your computer!”


This is an advance I like.  While I’m not exactly sure where they’re drawing their information for classifying harmful websites, the rudimentary warning system will most certainly be useful in helping to protect against many an unfortunate surprise.

From first glances, I’d say that they have got a lot of work yet to do in classifying sites as being harmful.  I know firsthand that web filtering technology has to be backed with some pretty sophisticated kick-ass technology as well as requiring a lot of work to identify bad sites and correctly categorize them (checkout Proventia Web Filter for a comprehensive answer).

While I’m not that familiar with the organization providing the classification(, at least it a good start as far as ‘neighborhood watch’ protection systems go.  However, I don’t think I’d recommend forgoing more comprehensive web filtering solutions if you have them.

So, thumbs up for Google adding this ‘badware’ awareness warning – I wish them well. 
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