Googling for malicious software

Tech Culture

Don't try this at home!

H. D. Moore, creator of the Metasploit hacking tool, has crafted a search engine that finds malicious software using Google queries. The new "Malware" search engine finds Web sites hosting malicious files after a person enters the name of a virus or Trojan horse.

To find the malicious software the new search tool uses a fingerprint of the executable and then searches for it using Google, according to the Web site. However, those who do try it won't find much. Google has not indexed most malware yet and the signature database is still tiny, according to the Malware search site.

Launch of the new, public search site comes shortly after researchers at Websense Security Labs said they had been able to find thousands of examples of malicious code using Google's search technology.

Most of what Websense found were malicious files posted to Usenet newsgroups with false names, designed to trick a user.

Being able to find malicious software on Google shows the potential for miscreants to embed strings within their binaries that match search terms in order to dupe users into running malicious code, Websense said in an alert last week.

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