Google Adds Security to Search

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Robert Siciliano

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The Internet can be a dangerous neighborhood, and safety precautions are a necessity. IBM Internet Security Systems blocked 5,000 SQL injections every day in the first two quarters of 2008.

By midyear, the number had grown to 25,000 a day. By late fall, attacks climbed to 450,000 daily. The US government servers and sites are targeted 60 million times a day, or 1.8 billion times per month.

While the government fights to protect itself, you and I are on our own, and most civilians are completely unprepared for an attack.

In the University of Cincinnati’s Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the authors write, “The general population must be engaged as active security providers, not simply beneficiaries of security policy, because their practices often create the threats to which government responds.”

In other words, citizens need to take personal responsibility and start acting securely, rather than expecting it to all be done for them.

But Google is lending a helpful hand. In December, they posted the following announcement on the Google blog:

“Today we’ve added a new notification to our search results that helps people know when a site may have been hacked. We’ve provided notices for malware for years, which also involve a separate warning page"

"Now we’re expanding the search results notifications to help people avoid sites that may have been compromised and altered by a third party, typically for spam. When a user visits a site, we want her to be confident the information on that site comes from the original publisher.”

You can see an example of a search result notification here. Clicking the “This site may be compromised” warning brings you to an article with more information, and clicking the result itself brings you to the target website, as usual.

My observation has always been if a person decides to use the Internet, they should take some basic courses via your local adult education offering and read up about how to log in securely . New scams pop up every day, and one has to be aware of their options.

Thanks, Google, for lending a hand.

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses online banking security on CBS Boston. Disclosures

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Andy Willingham Robert, nice article. I was curious as to which issue the quote was in from the UC Journal of Homeland Security. A link would be appreciated.
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