Google Chases Computer Criminals to Search-Engine Competitors - Bloomberg
Google Inc. has almost cut in half the malicious software affecting users of its search engine, driving hackers to competitors including Microsoft Inc.'s Bing, Yahoo! Inc. and Twitter Inc., a report says.
Hackers targeted Google, owner of the most popular search engine, 38 percent of the time as of Dec. 31, according to the report to be released later this month by Barracuda Networks Inc., a web security firm. Mountain View, California-based Google accounted for 69 percent of the attacks in a sample conducted around June, the report says. A Barracuda report in July labeled Google "king of malware."
Even as Google improved its security, the number of attacks increased. In the December sample, Barracuda said it found 226 pieces of bad software a day, compared with 146 in June. Meanwhile, Google's competitors recorded an increase in malware- laced search results: Cyber criminals placed 30 percent of their bad software on Yahoo! search results in December, up from 18 percent in June. Bing accounted for 24 percent in December, up from 12 percent in June. And the targeting of Twitter rose to 8 percent from 1 percent, the report says.
Google said it has ratcheted up efforts to identify and scrub attempts at so-called search poisoning, which allows criminals to take control of computers to perpetuate cyber attacks, as well as large-scale banking and identity-theft swindles.