Google Expands Malware Scanning Tool

By Carlton Purvis

Using automated scanners, Google can detect malware on sites that it has indexed. If a hacker has inserted malware into a Web site, Google will indicate that the site is infected in search results online. The company also launched a tool in 2009 to alert network administrators if their sites became infected.

Google announced last week that it would be expanding the program, Safe Browsing Alerts for Network Administrators, to also include malicious domains to the information available to Web site administrators.

“These are domains that are responsible for launching exploits and serving malware. Unlike compromised sites, which are often run by innocent webmasters, distribution domains are set up with the primary purpose of serving malicious content,” Google says.

Google originally launched Safe Browsing Alerts for Network Administrators, the program to send notifications when malicious content was found on a company’s networks, to help IT departments better protect their networks. Administrators, who opt-in to the service, are notified when Google’s automatic web-scanning tool finds phishing URLs or malware on one of their sites.

“While it is important to protect users, we also know that most of these sites are not intentionally distributing malware. We understand the frustration of webmasters whose sites have been compromised without their knowledge and who discover that their site has been flagged,” the company says on its online security page.

Network administrators can register for Safe Browsing Alerts at

See example notifications from Google below:


photo by Robert Scoble/flickr


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