According to a recent report by Internet consumer advocacy group Stopbadware.org, Google is one of the top five networks responsible for hosting dangerous websites. The study describes “badware” as “spyware, malware and deceptive adware.”
Google recorded some 213,575 individual websites, till May this year, which StopBadware then mapped to IP addresses. The reason for Google featuring so highly according to Stopbadware is the popularity of Blogger with online criminals.
Maxim Weinstein, manager, Stopbadware.org said that because the Blogger is free and on a blog and users can post links to whatever they like, people have found ways to take advantage of this and create large numbers of free blogs that have bad links on them and in some cases even bad code.
The report also identifies the top countries and networks responsible for hosting badware.
Most of the infections occur in China with 689 infected sites per million Internet users. Survey notes that China owns six of the top 10 network blocks used for hosting badware, including the top four infected blocks.
It is followed by Russia, with 307 infected sites per million Internet users. The US came third with 212 infected sites per million. The other countries in the list are Germany, France, Republic of Korea and Great Britain in the same order.
Stopbadware.org uses data collected by Google’s crawlers. It drew its data from Google’s “Safe Browsing” initiative, which maintains a database of websites that attempt to phish personal information from users who visit.
The organisation, however, refused to speculate on the proportion of the sites, Chinese or otherwise, are deliberately hosting malicious code and also the part that are actually legitimate sites that have been hacked.