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Google adds phishing URL alerts to network tool

Administrators notified if network compromised

Google has added notification for phishing URLs to its service that lets administrators know if their networks have been compromised.

Google launched the Safe Browsing Alerts for Network Administrators program in September as an "experimental tool" that let administrators running their own networks receive email notifications pointing out bad URLs if Google's automated scanners find malicious content.

Although network administrators may not be responsible for running websites on their networks, it allows them to notify those who do run the sites and get them cleaned. Hackers frequently target poorly secured websites in order to place malicious content or set up a phishing site, which may be unknown to the website operator. That's risky for website owners, who could find their sites blacklisted without their knowledge.

Google said it has added notification of phishing URLs to the email warnings it sends to administrators. Phishing sites try to elicit personal information from a victim, often by tricking them into believing the page they've landed on is legitimate.

Despite advances in detecting the sites, there usually is a short window of time the site is active before it is either blacklisted or shut down. Google's Chrome browser has the 'safe browsing' technology built in, which will block users from going to potentially harmful websites on the blacklist.

The notification can also be sent in an XML data format, which allows administrators to process the notification using scripts to automate other functions, said Nav Jagpal of Google's security team in a blog.

Networks can be registered on Google's Safe Browsing Alerts for Network Administrators site.

See also: Google used for 66% of net searches in September


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