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Google wants you to inform on evil websites

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The Google Online Security Blog posted an update to the monsterous corporation's ongoing battle against malware and made the following plea to well-meaning web surfers:

Currently, we know of hundreds of thousands of websites that attempt to infect people's computers with malware. Unfortunately, we also know that there are more malware sites out there. This is where we need your help in filling in the gaps. If you come across a site that is hosting malware, we now have an easy way for you to let us know about it. If you come across a site that is hosting malware, please fill out this short form. Help us keep the internet safe, and report sites that distribute malware.
[Help us fill in the gaps!, Google Online Security Blog, November 29, 2007]
I have confession to make. The first thing that occurred to me when I read this was: this sounds like a great opportunity for online revenge! Fiji's interim government could report the Solivakasama blog, elusive freedom blogger Captain Intelligentsiya could inform on the RFMF site, Fiji's literacy-challenged community could report Paradise Not Found. And it would not have to stop there! The Unwired mavericks could report the ATH duo Kidanet and Connect's sites, Monopoly-buster Inkk could inform on the Vodafone site, the Oceanic hot-heads could report Webmasters, and Channel 2 (if Channel 2 even still exists?) could hit Fiji TV.

Let's hear it for Google's continuing ability to stick to their "do no evil" corporate motto by encouraging us to be informers! The truth is the average Internet user cannot accurately identify a malware site any better than Shiasta Shameem can play ice hockey.

Photo by: Zeet Jones

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Picky Eater said...

"The truth is the average Internet user cannot accurately identify a malware site any better than Shiasta Shameem can play ice hockey."

I have no idea if Shaista is any good on ice (hint: check you post box for a defamation writ) ... but your sentiment is excellent.

That said, how likely is the average user likely to read a blog, even a Google blog, about online security? Methinks Google is aiming at a slightly more savvy audience :D

It's at times like this that I wish I worked at Google: there must be automated ways of weeding these fellas out. Raw IP addresses offering downloads? Low PageRank(R)? URLs with no discernible linguistic value?

Who knows? But I do know Google still takes money from malware providers in the form of advertising dollars ... I see them popup in the sponsored links on Google searches from time to time.

thrashor said...

picky: if you check out the google security blog, they do give some insight into their current efforts to detect and then battle malware sites. it is rather interesting.

like you, i do wonder how much money they make off of advertising malware, phishing, and other questionable activity.

excellent comment, thank you.

яαίdяż said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rizwan ud Dean said...

malware has been around for some time and its only recently that we've started taking an interest into the wild world of malware.

Google's quickly becoming the self-appointed activist for just about everything on the Internet or the ICT world. From head on battles with Microsoft to fighting malware, I sometimes wonder if Google really has the time to deal with such problems - after all, there are companies which specialize in getting rid of malware or making attempts to do so and they haven't made much progress so I really don't think Google's got much of a chance in getting rid of all of the worlds problems. The only thing I really foresee happening in the future is Google being taken to court and a class action filed against them for IP harvesting and then using the IP's to identify individuals. At the end of the day, Google's efforts in getting rid of malware is laughable because its like the bible bashers who are trying so hard to get rid of all pornography from the Internet... I think I discuss some of these issues on my site (

thrashor said...

rizwan - i agree, the net will always have both porn and malware.