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Report: Google Has Twice the Malware of Bing, Yahoo, and Twitter Put Together

Barracuda Looks at Malware in Search

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According to a report released by Barracuda Labs, Google has twice as much malware than Bing, Yahoo, and Twitter put together. The study was conducted across these web properties over a two-month period.

Barracuda says it reviewed over 25,000 trending topics and nearly 5.5 million search results, analyzing them to identify the types of topics used by malware distributors. The firm will be presenting its findings at DefCON 18 this weekend, but the report is available here (pdf). Barracuda lists the following as highlights from its findings:

- Overall, Google takes the crown for malware distribution — turning up more than twice the amount of malware as Bing, Twitter and Yahoo! combined when searches on popular trending topics were performed. Google presents at 69 percent; Yahoo! at 18 percent; Bing at 12 percent; and Twitter at one percent.

- The average amount of time for a trending topic to appear on one of the major search engines after appearing on Twitter varies tremendously: 1.2 days for Google, 4.3 days for Bing, and 4.8 days for Yahoo!

- Over half of the malware found was between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. GMT.

- The top 10 terms used by malware distributors include the name of a NFL player, three actresses, a Playboy Playmate and a college student who faked his way into Harvard.

- In general, activity is increasing on Twitter: more users are coming online; True Twitter Users are tweeting more often, and even casual users are becoming more active. As users become more active, the malicious activity also increases.

- Only 28.87 percent of Twitter users are actual True Twitter Users.

- Half of Twitter users tweet less than once a day, yet one in 10 users tweet five or more times a day and 30 percent of Twitter accounts have never tweeted.

-  One in every eight Twitter users has at least 10 times more followers than they are following.

-  Only one in 10 users is following more than 100 users, and almost half are following less than five.

- The Twitter Crime Rate for the first half of 2010 was 1.67 percent.

Daily Malware by Source - Barracuda

"Our study shows that attackers have serious efforts devoted towards getting in front of the billions of eyeballs that are using search engines everyday and the millions of users that are connecting on social networks like Twitter," said Dr. Paul Judge, chief research officer and VP at Barracuda Networks. "Therefore, we continue to analyze their approaches and build new techniques to find them and protect users."

NetworkWorld points to some market share numbers, which seem to mirror the malware percentages presented by Barracuda.

Report: Google Has Twice the Malware of Bing, Yahoo, and Twitter Put Together


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  • http://www.DowellTaggart.com Kansas City Real Estate

    Although I really like the Google family of products and I’m constantly on Facebook, I have seen an explosion on Twitter.

    As an avid user of Twitter, more business people are starting to understand the benefits of Twitter and are starting to use it more. Twitter has many more uses than Facebook.

  • http://www.icethenet.com ITNetwork Design

    Google is still the most used search engine. It is easy to focus SEO on the largest and just list on yahoo and bing as do most of us. So it only reasons that they would have more. It would also stand to reason that yahoo and bing have more malware than excite or kosmix. Plus your talking about a company that owns:

    Graphics and video
    * Episodic
    * On2.
    * Omnisio
    * Panoramio
    * Picnik.
    * Youtube
    Web design and development
    * Experiments
    * Html5rocks.
    Social networks and hosting
    * All For Good
    * Blogger/blogspot.com
    * FreeBase
    * Genius Labs
    * Jaiku
    * Knol
    * MetaWeb
    * Orkut
    * Textcube
    Mobiles
    * Admob
    * Android
    * Labpixies
    * Plinkart
    Advertising and e-commerce
    * Double Click

  • Guest

    Twitter malware and spam has moved off the trending topics, as most twitter users know. They now do reply-drive-bys eg. Watch this! http://bit.ly/somemalwarelinkhere @victim1 @victim2 @victim3 etc. So, I am betting the Twitter numbers are way off if they were just looking at the tweets with trending topics in them. Not to mention there is no visibility into the direct messages. With so many people automating following with a direct follow-back reply this is perfectly feasible. I’d also have to question the “true twitter user” aspect as I know of hundreds of people who simply have twitter to redirect followers to connect on facebook with such followback messages. Therefore, they may have 0 tweets but 20k+ followers.

  • wilner

    I switched to Bing in part to avoid the malware that Google digs up so easily.
    And, in the year that I’ve been using Bing, it has been a pleasant surprise; I have hardly used any Google service save gmail and translate. Now, if only there was an alternative to Gmail from Microsoft or Yahoo that really worked, I’d probably switch to one of those from Gmail; I love the threaded conversations but don’t like the interface of Gmail.

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