In September, Google launched a new program, the Safe Browsing Alerts for Network Administrators. At that time is was labeled as an “experimental tool.” It sent e-mail notifications administrators running their own networks to receive information, which pointed out bad URLs if Google’s automated scanners find malicious content.
Well, the experimental version is over. Google has now added notification for phishing URLs to its service. It warns administrators if their networks have been compromised.
Some network administrators may not be responsible for running websites on their networks, nevertheless, the program allows them to notify those who do. It informs them that the sites are infected and they need to have them cleaned. What hackers can do is compromise a poorly secured website in order to place malicious content or set up a phishing site; the latter may even be unknown to the website operator. That’s risky and dangerous for website owners. They may find their sites blacklisted without their knowledge.
A phishing site tries to elicit personal information from a victim, usually this done by tricking the visitor to the site into believing that the page they’ve landed on is legitimate.
Now Google has gone a step further in malware protection by adding notification of phishing URLs to the e-mail warnings it sends to administrators.
While these advances are important, it is important to realize that there is usually a short time period before the site is either blacklisted or shut down. Meanwhile, Google’s Chrome browser has the “safe browsing” technology built in. This will block users from going to potentially harmful websites on the blacklist.
Another feature is that in the messaging element the notification can be sent in XML data format. This permits administrators to process the notification using scripts to automate other functions.
Administrators can register their networks on Google’s Safe Browsing Alerts for Network Administrators site.