Google added a new type of notification to their search results that helps people know when a site may have been hacked. A site that has been compromised and altered by a third party may be used for spreading spam and malware or exploited for carrying out phishing attacks. These notification, along with malware notices that Google has been providing for years, will help people avoid the affected sites and keep out of harm’s way. According to a report published in Zone-H in May, about 95,000 sites were defaced in April 2010 and that number keeps increasing every month.
Here’s what the notification looks like:
Clicking the “This site may be compromised” link send users to a Help Center article which explains to people why they are seeing the notice. Clicking on the result, meanwhile, takes users to the target website, as expected.
However, unlike malware notices that are added to search result after manual review of the malicious sites, Google uses a “variety of automated tools” to detect common signs indicative of a hacked site. Google says they will also attempt to contact the site’s webmaster via their Webmaster Tools account and any contact email addresses they can find on the webpage. This will help webmasters quickly discover when someone may be abusing their site.
[via Google Webmaster Blog]