Google alerting searchers to hacked websites

Dec 18, 2010
A visitor walks past the logo of Internet search engine giant Google. Google on Friday announced search engine upgrades that included alerting people to hacked websites that make it into query results.

Google on Friday announced search engine upgrades that included alerting people to hacked websites that make it into query results.

"We've added new notifications to the results page to warn you when sites may have been compromised, spammed or defaced," director of product management Mike Cassidy said in a blog post.

"In addition to helping users, these notices will also help webmasters more quickly discover when someone is abusing their sites."

Google added automated tools designed to detect signs of hacking and then pin warnings reading "This site may be compromised" beneath potentially tainted entries in , according to Cassidy.

"Rest assured, once the problem has been fixed, the warning label will be automatically removed from our search results," said Google associate product manager Gideon Wald.

The Mountain View, California-based Internet giant also added new languages and domains to its "Instant" search feature that delivers suggested results with each key stroke of a query.

Google's translation service was given upgrades that include providing alternatives as to what the intended meaning of phrases might be.

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User comments : 14

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jonnyboy
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 18, 2010
Nobody is as good as Google, NOBODY!!
solar2030
Dec 18, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Skepticus
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 18, 2010
Here is a list of future Google's warnings.

2010: The website you are trying to access may have been compromised.
2011: The views of the website you are trying to access may have been compromised.
2012: The website you are trying to access have been deemed compromised and blocked. Please choose from a list of government-approved sites.
2013: The website you are trying to access have been deemed illegal and blocked. Repeated attempts to access or using methods to circumvent the blockage will be recorded, and carry long jail terms.
2014: All perpetrators trying to access information not approved by the state will be shot without trial.
maxcypher
3 / 5 (5) Dec 18, 2010
I think it's pretty unfair to associate Google with state censorship since the company is foregoing a tremendous amount of revenue by rejecting Chinese censorship.
gmurphy
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 18, 2010
Skepticus and maxcypher both make good points. Even if google's intentions are benign, they have incredible power over what we are exposed to on the web. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
DickWilhelm
5 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2010
I understand the fear of censorship, and we should all be vigilant. However, they are not blocking access in any way and my feeling is that they are protecting clients from malware loaded onto a compromised server by letting client make an informed decision. Long gone are the days where I trust any corporation but I won't let paranoia rule my life just yet.
Skepticus
3 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2010
...However, they are not blocking access in any way ...

Perhaps not paranoia yet, but I beginning to have uneasy feelings. Try Google News front page. Any news websites that carry a contrary message to the standard US gov's views are virtually nonexistent, such as PressTV (Iran news site) and a whole lot of others that are too many to mention here. While I don't approve of what they say, the fact that I am being fed carefully filtered news, rather giving a choice of using my brain to decide what is bullshit flying around the Net, is a 24K case of quiet, systematic and insidious censorship by Google. The disclaimer at the end of Google News page states: "The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program". I haven't heard of any computers writting proprams yet, have you?
Hesca419
2 / 5 (1) Dec 18, 2010
I don't trust unfettered power any more than the next guy, but this may be taking things out of proportion. Google has lots of nifty tricks for the internet but, ultimately, they're just a search engine. If they're censoring results, use Bing, or AltaVista, or any of their (albeit lesser) competition. Google voluntarily censoring results is really not even the same order of magnitude of obstruction as the Great Firewall of China. Ones government does not really have the same level of competition for ones internet usage.
cyberCMDR
4 / 5 (1) Dec 18, 2010
Recent analyses have shown that a good percentage of the websites Google recommended were compromised, so adding this feature is a good thing. Given that most computer infections these days are via drive by downloads from hacked websites, not identifying these sites would be immoral. Most computer users have no clue on what they need to do to keep their computers secure, which is why there are so many bots out there spewing spam.
trekgeek1
1 / 5 (1) Dec 18, 2010
Slippery slope fallacy. Google gives security warnings, therefore the content will soon be illegal. Alerts for certain content and legislation against it are two completely different things. I have a site advisor on chrome that alerts me when a website is known to harbor viruses, but I'm not worried that an Orwellian society will emerge from it.
cyberCMDR
5 / 5 (1) Dec 18, 2010
Google stated in their press release that sites that clean themselves of malware will be removed from the warnings list. This isn't about content, this is about malware. Most users out there don't have a site advisor plugin; they barely understand the need for an antivirus or firewall.
Skepticus
3 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2010
@cyberCMDR: No argument about malware there. But the fact remains that as the most comprehensive search engine on the planet right now cut out a whole swath of contrary views by a program written by humans, is blatantly obvious of political bias. I don't like others doing the thinking for me, do you?

@trekgeek1 : The slope is slipperier than you realise. What do you make of the reported news that the US gov. is considering changing existing laws to charge J.A. over the leaks because the existing laws are no good? As long as long established principles enshrined in The Constitution are thrown out of the window for political convenience, where would that leads? The answer: The People Republic of America. Perhaps the US goverment realised that they can't govern and control their unruly foul-smelling rabble effectively without going the route of authoritarian way of China?
zielwolf
5 / 5 (1) Dec 19, 2010

Try Google News front page. Any news websites that carry a contrary message to the standard US gov's views are virtually nonexistent, such as PressTV (Iran news site)


Press TV?? Honestly. Anyway, if you don't like Google's feed why not just collate your own. It's not that hard or that much work. Must we be spoon fed everything in our lives?
cyberCMDR
not rated yet Dec 20, 2010
Paranoia runs deep.
Into your mind it will creep.
It starts when you're always afraid,
Then the men come, and take you away...
jjoensuu
not rated yet Dec 26, 2010
Google had this feature before, in fact many years ago. And then it disappeared. Or perhaps it was available because I was accessing google.com from abroad (Australia, Singapore, and some European countries)? Hard to tell but it seems to be old news.

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