Just to be clear, Google’s Safe Browsing technology examines billions of URLs per day looking for unsafe websites. These unsafe sites fall into two categories, both of which threaten users’ privacy and security:
- Malware Sites contain code to install malicious software onto users’ computers. Hackers can use this software to capture and transmit users’ private or sensitive information.
- Phishing Sites pretend to be legitimate while trying to trick users into typing in their username and password or sharing other private information. Common examples are web pages that impersonate legitimate bank websites or online stores.
The June 2013 report provided some statistics that weren't a surprise, but others that were quite a surprise - all were eye-opening!
Hacked sites still remain a major problem – with about 60% hosting malware, and 40% being used for phishing attacks.
Dedicated attack sites numbered in the hundreds until late 2009, when they began to increase. They crested at the end of last year above 6,000, but that number has since dropped. As of June 9, 2013, Google reports the number of these malicious sites at 3,891.
Dramatically worse is the problem of compromised sites. Web sites that are supposed to be legitimately safe but that have been hacked to infect visitors. During the week of June 9th, Google tallied 39,247 hacked sites.
Web sites that you think are safe but have been compromised to distribute malicious software are far more prevalent than sites that are intentionally dangerous.