Channel Sees Opportunity In Google's Security Data Tool

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Google launched a new section of its online Transparency Report Tuesday, designed to shed more light on malware and phishing sites, according to the company's official blog.

The search giant's online Transparency Report, which documents government requests for data and content removal, added a new Safe Browsing tab featuring information on malicious sites that try to gain control of a user's computer and access to passwords and private information used in identity theft and fraud.

From the global location of a hosted malware site to the number of times suspicious websites are flagged a week, Google's new security report focuses its data on the source of the malware attacks and how websites respond to them.


[Related: Google Reveals Government Demands For Cloud Data]

In an intelligence note prepared by the Internet Crime Complaint Center of the FBI, the government agency said it's seen a rise in cybercriminals using "spear-phishing attacks to target multiple industry sectors."

The note, published Tuesday, warned that victims of malware attacks are often targeted because of their involvement with specific industries or companies that cybercriminals seek to penetrate.

As a part of Google's expanding security transparency efforts, the company will send out alerts to notify Web developers if their site has been hacked, give examples of the types of code injected into their site, and provide the subsequent steps needed to get rid of the malicious code -- as well as track developer's response time and the rate of re-infection for sites that may have an "underlying vulnerability."

Dave Monk, CEO of ArcSource Consulting Inc., a Berkeley, Calif.-based consulting firm and Google Apps VAR, said the tech company has been "leading the way" in transparency for years and is in a "unique position" to provide safe browsing information on a large scale.

"The new additions to the transparency report give channel partners more educational resources to help educate customers on security issues," Monk said. "We will be using the safe browsing and info to help show our customers the reality of increasing security threats -- that hackers are not coming after them in particular; hackers are coming after everyone."

Paul Hilbert, co-owner of Network Doctor, an Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based managed service provider, said he hopes security vendors will take note of the information in the Google reports.

"I think that this is the type of thing, if Google's going to track the information, that vendors should add to a blacklist, so it becomes safer for any client computer to surf the Internet," Hilbert said. "I think it's an ongoing issue that's becoming more of a problem. The viruses of the '90s are the malwares of the 2000's."

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