Total Pageviews

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Google Adds Malware Statistics to Transparency Report

In an effort to draw awareness to just how unsafe the Internet has become, Google will be adding statistics about malware to its transparency report.

Google’s transparency report currently documents criminal requests and national security requests from government’s worldwide, though it does not include requests from the federal government’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court regarding Google’s foreign users.

Since that court made headlines this month, Google and other tech companies have been trying to contain the public relations crisis that has resulted from revelations that they have been aiding government surveillance efforts when ordered to by the court. Google has since filed a legal motion asking the government to relax its gag order and allow the company to disclose the number of FISA requests it receives.

At he same time, Google said on Monday it would also be expanding its transparency report to include new numbers around malware and phishing attacks on the Internet. In 2006, Google started searching for, and flagging, suspect Web sites for its users. It is now flagging some 10,000 sites a day.

The company said its transparency report would now document how many people see its security warnings each week, where malicious sites were hosted around the world (and by which Internet Service Providers), how long it took for Web masters to clean up their sites, and- somewhat depressingly- how quickly Web sites got reinfected after they were scrubbed of malware.

“We want to make as much information available about the state of the Web as we see it, so everyone else cares about this problem,” Niels Provos, a principal engineer at Google, said in an interview Monday. “It’s a prevalent problem. It’s not rare.”

Mr. Provos said his team had been working on gathering relevant statistics ! for the last six months and that Google would begin updating its transparency report weekly.

“By putting this out there, we want to educate Web masters that this is very real, that the danger of you getting infected is very large,” Mr. Provos said.