For many websites, 2010 turned out to be a very big year in regard to security. Over the past year, Gawker Media, Google, Facebook and Twitter have all had some sort of a security breach—there are many other big properties as well that have been hacked.
In some of these breaches, the hackers took over the infrastructure of the site. In other cases, the hackers got access to users’ personal information.
The problem is that it can take a decent amount of time before users know that the website has been hacked. Therefore, if the hacker has access to personal information, should a new user put information in, the hacker has just gained even more personal information.
Google announced on Friday that it hoped to make it easier for people to know when a site might have been hacked right on its search engine results.
This isn’t the first move Google has made to help people stay safe while searching. The search engine already notifies people when they are about to visit a site that might have been infiltrated by a malware attack. This ensures that the user doesn’t download the malware themselves.
This new feature Google is implementing will append the Web site’s results with a “This site may be compromised” to warn users that the site might not be safe right now. This way, the user can steer away from it until the hackers have lost their control.
According to the blog post Google published, “We use a variety of automated tools to detect common signs of hacking as quickly as possible, and if we detect any of these we add a new notice right beneath the result title line, “This site may be compromised.” In addition to protecting users, these notices will also help webmasters more quickly discover when someone is abusing their sites.”
Google will also try and notify the webmaster of the site to let them know that they think their site has been hacked. When the problem has been fixed, Google will remove the warning.
In the annual Cisco Security Report, the company noted that as more social networking sites become interconnected on the Internet, it’s going to be important for users to know when there might be something unsafe. Their personal information should stay as their personal information.