Five years ago, Google started a program they call Safe Browsing. The intent of the program is to identify malicious sites and warn browser users that attempt to visit them. According to Google, the program identifies 9500 malicious sites a day. The program is used by a number of browsers, including Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, helping to protect around 600 million web users.
Here are a few interesting tidbits from Google:
- The number of Phishing sites discovered continue to increase (over 300,000/month currently). Attacks are faster, more diverse, and used to distribute malware.
- Legitimate sites are being compromised in large numbers (discovery peaked at over 300,000/month in 2009, currently at around 150,000/month for 2012) to deliver or redirect to malware.
- Attack websites, specifically designed to distribute malware, are also increasing (currently discovering about 10,000/month for 2012)
How can you protect yourself?
- Don't ignore warnings from your browser! If Firefox, Google, or Safari warn you about a specific site, it's probably a good idea not to go there.
- Consider running browser add-ons like Adblock and Web of Trust. Adblock will block ads from displaying, which can sometimes be used to distribute malware, while Web of Trust can give you additional information on whether or not the site is malicious in nature.
- Review ITSO's guide to safe-browsing (http://security.duke.edu/internet-safety/browser-security).
Remember...think before you click on that link!