Today, Google published a Transparency Report detailing the levels of malware and phishing sites the company detects on the web.

Google defines the two types of unsafe sites as follows:

  • Malware sites contain code to install malicious software onto users' computers. Hackers can use this software to capture and transmit users' private or sensitive information.
  • Phishing sites pretend to be legitimate while trying to trick users into typing in their username and password or sharing other private information. Common examples are web pages that impersonate legitimate bank websites or online stores.

Google started the Safe Browsing program in 2006, which catalogs suspected malicious websites and warns people while browsing the web if they happen to come across a flagged site. Google is actively flagging up to 10,000 sites per day, and reports that through sharing this data with other browsers, they are able to help keep 1 billion users safe.

In an attempt to continue protecting internet citizens, Google has expanded their Transparency Report to include malware and phishing data. They hope that this new Safe Browsing section of the report will shed more light on the sources of the attacks.

The report includes the frequency at which users are being warned about malware while browsing, but also contains data about how quickly websites are reinfected after a website owner or operator removes malware and where these malicious sites are hosted around the world.

Safe browsing has done a lot to improve the safety of the uninformed or casual web user. And, while it has been known to throw some false positives when scanning legitimate websites, shielding 1 billion users from potentially dangerous sites far outweighs that inconvenience.