Google prides itself on being proactive in protecting its users from malware and other attacks (even government-sponsored ones) on the Web via its Safe Browsing API and other technologies over the past five years. In a blog post today, the company reveals the numbers behind some of its anti-malware initiatives:
- Google finds about 9,500 new malicious Web sites per day, either innocent ones that have been compromised by hackers or sites built specifically to distribute malware or for phishing.
- About 600 million users of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari see several million warnings per day about malware and phishing on sites the users are about to visit.
- About 12 million to 14 million Google Search queries per day display the warning that sites are compromised.
- Google provides malware warnings for about 300,000 downloads per day through its download protection service for Chrome.
- Google sends thousands of notices to Webmasters daily and to ISPS about malware they need to remove or protect users from.
- Phishing pages are often removed within an hour of their detection.
The company is pushing its anti-malware technology into new areas, including plans to scan Chrome extensions, or plug-ins found in the Chrome Web Store, for malware; adding instantaneous phishing detection and download protection within the Chrome browser; and boosting the protection of Android apps. A spokesman declined to comment further on these efforts.
"Our tangible impact in making the Web more secure, and our ability to directly protect users from harm, has been a great source of motivation for everyone on the Safe Browsing team," the company said in the blog post. "We are also happy that our free data feed has become the de facto base of comparison for academic research in this space."
Asked what advice he would give to consumers, Niels Provos, a principal software engineer in Google's infrastructure group, said: "Even though tools to detect malware and phishing are always getting better, it's still important to be vigilant and to trust your gut, if something doesn't look right. If you're suspicious, speak up and report it instead of clicking through. Your computer will likely thank you."
Updated at 9:32 a.m. PT with Niels Provos advice to consumers.