Google offers malware warnings

Watch out, there's adware about

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Google has teamed up with an anti-malware organisation to offer warnings when search results might otherwise lead surfers to sites hosting malicious code.

The search engine giant is using data from the Stop Badware Coalition (StopBadware.org) to display warnings about potentially harmful sites. In this way, Google hopes to provide users with a safer searching experience.

Warnings issued currently link to a general page on StopBadware.org. But once research on hacker sites is finished, StopBadware.org will replace this general alert with a specific report on a site (example here).

StopBadware.org, launched in January by Harvard University's Berkman Centre and the Oxford Internet Institute, aims to establish a neighbourhood watch-style scheme that will put pressure on purveyors of unsavoury programs that snoop on consumer's net habits.

Net users can check the site to see if programs they encounter are potentially damaging. They can also report suspicious sites to StopBadware.org by following the link here.

The project is supported by Google, Sun, and Lenovo. By including StopBadware.org warnings within search results, Google has deepened this relationship. StopBadware.org hopes to work with other search engines on similar services. ®

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