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Google maps malicious websites

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Google expanded its Transparency Report on Tuesday to include maps of spots around the world where hackers are laying traps or baiting Internet users.

”Two of the biggest threats online are malicious software that can take control of your computer, and phishing scams that try to trick you into sharing passwords or other private information,” Google engineer Lucas Ballard said in a blog post.

”So today we’re launching a new section on our Transparency Report that will shed more light on the sources of malware and phishing attacks.”

Information for the new section comes from a Safe Browsing program Google launched in 2006 to warn Internet travelers when they were heading for trouble such as bogus bank websites or pages booby-trapped with computer viruses.

”We’re currently flagging up to 10,000 sites a day, and because we share this technology with other browsers there are about one billion users we can help keep safe,” Ballard said.

The new section added at google.com/transparencyreport included a map that showed that ”malware” hotspots include India and Central Europe.

Google’s Transparency Report also provides information about government requests around the world for information from the California-based Internet giant and demands for removal of content from online properties.

Last week, Google said that it asked a special US court handling national security investigations for permission to publish more open with the public about numbers of requests.

The court filing in Washington came amid a firestorm of protests over revelations that the National Security Agency had accessed vast amounts of data in a surveillance program under the supervision of the secret court.