Google has been looking into web-based malware and has come up with some worrying figures. Of the 4.5m web pages it looked at in depth, 450,000 were capable of downloading malicious code without the user's knowledge.

A further 700,000 web pages in Google's study contained code which could potentially compromise a user's computer. 

The research, titled 'The Ghost in the Browser', found that the vast majority of malicious web pages exploit vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer.

Google has already started to identify web pages that could potentially be malicious and flag them up for searchers:

"Our goal is to observe the malware behavior when visiting malicious URLs and discover if malware binaries are being downloaded as a result of visiting a URL.

"Websites that have been identified as malicious are labeled as potentially harmful when returned as a search result."

Google also made the point that the rise of Web 2.0 and user generated content has given attackers more scope to attack internet users' PCs.

Further reading:
Malware threat doubles over last year

Graham Charlton

Published 11 May, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (1)


Deri Jones, CEO at SciVisum Ltd

As a Firefox user - confirms my choice of browser.

But this is just additional hard evidence of what has been recognised for a while: Firefox has security advantages.

Google may be considered a data source with a vested interest when it comes to things Microsoft... but they are not the only ones saying interesting things about IE.

IE7 take up has stalled at 31% market share says this analysis:,131600-c,internetexplorer/article.html

Which says that IE6 still has about 46%.

"Firefox now holds 15.4 percent of the browser market, while Internet Explorer has 78 percent"

"Firefox's gains continued to come at the expense of Internet Explorer. Even with IE7, Microsoft is still losing market share to Firefox"

When wrestling with User Journeys and providing hard metrics of user experience / web page performance, the plethora of browsers is a pain. The world would be a better place if only Microsoft would save their efforts and let Firefox become dominant...I can wish can't I?.

about 11 years ago

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