Feeds

Google: Our rapid load won't give you anything nasty

You could get exploited without even saying yes

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Google has downplayed concerns that refinements to its search technology could leave surfers more exposed to search engine manipulation attacks.

Google Inside Search aims to speed up web searches by pre-loading content from remote sites. The so-called Instant Pages technology only works with Google Chrome.

Miscreants often manipulate search engine results so that links to scareware portals and the like appear prominently in search results for newsworthy terms. These search engine poisoning tactics rely on establishing link farms after hacking into portions of popular websites, using search engines’ “sponsored” links to reference malicious sites and injecting HTML code, among other tricks.

Scareware affiliates normally rely on potential victims to click on links to malicious sites among search results before they are whisked away towards dangerous domains. However, the Instant Pages technology might remove this requirement, pre-fetching content from malicious websites and "creating a possibility that a user can be exploited by simply searching, without even clicking on a link," warns Dan Hubbard of Websense Security Labs.

Google maintains that is being careful to minimise the possibility of harmful content getting pre-fetched.

"We've thought hard about this issue, and we don't believe there is any additional risk to users," a Google spokesman explained.

"Sites marked as potentially harmful by our Safe Browsing technology will not be pre-rendered, nor will sites that Chrome detects as suspicious. We also exclude sites with SSL certificate issues and those that try to download files or display popup alerts."

Google added that search engine poisoning to promote scareware sites and the like is an industry-wide problem. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.