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Google’s Phishing Warning

Monday, April 28th, 2008 by | Filed Under: Security Help, Using The Internet
 
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Q:
I always use Google to search and lately, I’ve been noticing a new warning that pops up under some of my search results. It says something about phishing, but I’m not quite sure what it is. Do you have any ideas?

A:
Yes, I do believe I know what you’re talking about! I actually just heard about this the other day, so I’m glad you asked. An article about this was posted on WorldStart’s message board as well (thanks HARLEY), so it’s definitely big news. It’s really just one more thing Google is doing to help keep us protected. So, let’s take a few minutes here and see what we’ve got!

First of all, I just want to talk a little about phishing attacks. We all know that phishing is a popular form of malware these days and unfortunately, it seems to just grow and grow. One of the main phishing attacks is spam e-mail and it’s said that approximately 100 billion spam messages are sent out on a daily basis. That accounts for 85 percent of all the incoming e-mails we all receive in a day. That’s just ridiculous! Those figures really put into perspective how much phishing has gotten out of hand.

Luckily, various Web browsers and certain Web sites have added security features that help fight against phishing attacks. For example, both Firefox and Opera have an alert system that warns you when you’re on a malicious site. And with getting back to today’s question, Google is now getting in on the action too!

Google recently added a new phishing warning to their Web site that shows up every time you attempt to visit a site that is used in conjunction with phishing. The warning pops up under your search results whenever you click on a “bad” link. The message tells you that Web forgery is suspected and it suggests that you go back to your search results and try a different site. The warning looks something like this:

To my knowledge, this new feature was put into place on April 21, 2008, so don’t be discouraged if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s only been active for a few days. If you do a lot of searching with Google though, I’m sure you’ll see it soon. Now, in the past, Google has done the same thing for other types of malware, but I just want to make it clear that this one only focuses on phishing. So, really, with both of them put together, you’re 100 percent protected. And I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that!

~ Erin

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