Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Search Marketing Channel is sponsored by ClickZ Live San Francisco. Register to attend today! !

Africa, Iraq, Cuba Safer than US—for Websites



Google launched its Online Security Blog this week. Their first post took a look at compromised websites and malware around the world.

Both in the distribution of malware servers and in the locations of compromised websites, Iraq, Cuba, most of Africa and several other countries in South America and Asia were rated “green,” meaning that there were incidences. China, the United States and Russia, respectively, fared worst in these categories.

Google’s not just sharing this tidbit so we can all look cool at our next dinner party. They state that:

[A] sample-based analysis puts the fraction of malicious pages at roughly 0.1%. The analysis described in our paper covers billions of URLs. Using targeted feature extraction and classification, we select a subset of URLs believed to be suspicious for in-depth investigation. So far, we have investigated about 12 million suspicious URLs and found about 1 million that engage in drive-by downloads. In most cases, the web sites that infect your system with malware are not intentionally doing so and are often unaware that their web servers have been compromised.

They tout their anti-malware efforts, will warn you if search results are potentially dangerous and can prevent malicious downloads with Google Desktop. Additionally, they recommend that you keep your browser and OS updated with all the latest security patches. If you’re really worried, they say:

If you want to be really sure that your system does not become permanently compromised, you might even want to run your browser in a virtual machine, which you can revert to a clean snapshot after every browsing session.

Sounds a little extreme to me—or can you never be too safe? What do you think?

  • STRZA

    Good post on this subject.

    I do not feel that aggressive security measures are “extreme”. It is necessary to take steps to avoid viruses/malware. No one wants to be part of a global botnet sending horse porn emails to Tajikistan. Yet it is simply astonishing to watch otherwise sensible people blithely surf around in a supremely vulnerable state, refusing to take responsibility for securing their own machines.

    The right thing to do is to use MacOS or any other UNIX/Linux product. Seriously, it isn’t that hard. Though these operating systems obviously don’t dominate the market, they are nearly impervious to malware, compared to a Windows OS. Unfortunately the prevailing view seems to be that Linux is “too hard” to learn how to use. This POV is typically espoused by people who have never learned how to really use Windows either, which makes this viewpoint especially baffling.

    Given how important security is for internet businesses, it is frightening to note that so many CEOs and top executives are either too ignorant or apathetic to care about basic security.

    Am I opinionated? Maybe, but these opinions gradually developed from experience ;)

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    It makes sense that the worst countries are also the most densely populated.

    Does this mean that I can start accepting downloads from Nigerian princes again? ;-)

  • http://www.theatons.com Tom Taylor

    [quote]If you want to be really sure that your system does not become permanently compromised, you might even want to run your browser in a virtual machine, which you can revert to a clean snapshot after every browsing session.[/quote]

    Seems extreme to me.

  • http://bushidoblog.com.ar Dario

    It’s nice to see the efforts google is going through to keep us posted. I still think they should sue those website owners for hackery and spam.

    Dario Manoukian :: Bushidoblog.com.ar