In an effort to help its customers avoid compromised Web sites, Google has added a new tool to its search engine that notifies users when it has detected suspicious activity on a Web site.
In an effort to help its customers avoid compromised Web sites, Google has added a new tool to its search engine that notifies users when it has detected suspicious activity on a Web site, the company revealed last Friday .
When Web surfers use Google to search for something, a "This site may be compromised ” warning will appear underneath the search result if Google detects anything suspicious. If users click on the "This site may be compromised" link, they will be transported to Google's Help Center and receive this explanation.
If a site has been hacked, it typically means that a third party has taken control of the site without the owner’s permission. Hackers may change the content of a page, add new links on a page, or add new pages to the site. The intent can include phishing (tricking users into sharing personal and credit card information) or spamming (violating search engine quality guidelines to rank pages more highly than they should rank).
Search-engine users, however, will still have the ability to ignore the warning, click on the search result, and get transported to the Web site.
But with every security measure, there are people who could be adversely affected. In this case, they are Web masters whose sites have been compromised by a hacker.
"Rest assured, once the problem has been fixed, the warning label will be automatically removed from our search results, usually in a matter of days," explains Gideon Wald, an associate product manager at Google. "You can also request a review of your site to accelerate removal of the notice."
Google's new warning is one more additional security layer for its customers. The company already warns its search-engine users that "This site may harm your computer " when it detects a Web site hosting malware.
According to Google's Help Center, "In both cases, our detection might not be perfect -- we continually work on improving our system -- but it would be wise to proceed with caution."
♦ Snapshot from Google