Live Search Highlights Malicious Sites in Results

    December 4, 2008
    Chris Crum

About two years behind Google, Microsoft has finally decided to start marking malicious sites in the search results for Live Search. Better late than never though, I suppose.

"The web can be a dangerous place; there are threats around every corner," says Christian Seifert, Software Design Engineer, Live Search Anti-Spam & Anti-Malware Team. "In recent years, threats coming from web pages have significantly increased, from malicious programs hosted on web pages, to downloads that manipulate your computer and steal your personal information. In the past, these threats mainly came from questionable websites, but today even reputable sites can turn bad, which means that everyone is at risk for malware."


While fighting the "plague of the web" as Microsoft puts it is certainly a good thing, the criticism has already started to flow from readers at the company’s blog post announcing this "new" feature.

A number of people are still upset about the Black Friday Cashback fiasco. One person says, "A NEW blog post referring to battling the PLAGUE, completely ignoring any of the previous problems using that have PLAGUED your OWN cashback program that has self destructed.  No response to those that have cashback problems, and still no date on when the 40% will be reoffered as was promised."

While another says, "Could Live Search crawl the web and find my 40% cashback please?" Other commentary follows suit with this request.

One reader event calls Microsoft out for using an example site, which apparently tried to install a virus on their computer. I’m not sure whose fault that one is. Another comment is a bit more contstructive:

Why is the warning powered by JavaScript? If I click the link, that warning pops-up, but if I have JavaScript disabled, there is zero warning, that seems crazy…

I think it is great that you have this feature of alerting people, but it’s execution needs to be re-evaluated. I also think it isn’t a good idea to have a web site that you believe is infected to appear as results number 1.

Now that’s a valid point.