Aug 3 2010   4:54PM GMT

Studying Google and Twitter for Malware

Arian Eigen Heald Arian Eigen Heald Profile: Arian Eigen Heald

The folks from Barracuda Labs have issued a midyear report with some riveting data about the connection between Twitter and Google as venues for malware. You can see the summary and download the report here.

It was fascinating reading their assessment of search engine malware as well as Twitter use and crime rate.

Did you know that only 28.87 percent of Twitter users are actual Twitter users? The rest appear to be categories of Twitter “users” that are actually IDs for business, fan clubs,political and social announcements. The higher the tweets, w/friends and followers, the higher the likelihood of scammers. (This being a very loose interpretation on my part. You should really read the report.)

Where do Twitter and Google tie together? Google acquires Tweets on average of 1.2 days, while the other search engines do not capture the Tweets until an average of four days.

So a bad guy using Twitter to “announce” his malware delivery website (, for example) will see his tweet appear on Google much more quickly that any other search engine.

Unsurprisingly, Google provides 69% of malware infected websites in search results.

(It was enough to make me change my default search engine.)

The bad guys are constantly changing their terms to meet the top search engine terms. They even use search engine ranking and optimization.

Another reason (as if we needed one) for controlling social networking in the workplace.

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