Googling A Problem
A Google study has found that direct communication with compromised sites has helped fix security problems faster.
The University of California, Berkeley together with researchers at Google, recently discovered that at least 800,000 websites around the world were compromised for the first time, over a one-year period, equivalent to 16,500 per week.
The study which was taken to measure the effectiveness of Google’s remediation techniques, the tech giant said some of the compromised sites can expose users to malware attacks and scam content.
The study is a good suggestion of the scale of the malware problem and data breaches. The problem sees attackers routinely planting malicious code on some of the poorly protected websites. Search engines flag these sites as dangerous, but the more difficult part is helping them fix the problem, Google said.
The study is written, “Remedying Web Hijacking: Notification Effectiveness and Webmaster Comprehension,” shows that around 760,935 sites were compromised during the 12 months to June 2015. Google showed that after contacting affected web administrators who had signed up for the company’s Search Console directly via email, 75 percent of sites we re-secured.
Google also contacted users through the Whois email addresses and there was 54.6 percent of affected sites which were fixed. “Our results indicate that browser interstitials, search warnings, and direct communication with webmasters all play a crucial role in alerting webmasters to compromise and spurring action,” the researchers wrote in the study. 62 percent of the time, when Google put tips and samples of exactly which pages included harmful content, along with some expedited notification, webmasters fixed the problem faster, usually within three days.
Another chilling fact is that 12 percent of the re-secured sites were compromised again in 30 days. Google also shows that beyond the malware problem, communication with the affected site owners was also helpful.
Of course, you can help protect yourself by getting an excellent VPN.