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Google to provide origin info for problem websites

Google users will soon be able to call up detailed information about countries that are often the origin of infected websites and other internet problems.

The extremely thorough statistical data, to be released in the company’s Transparency Report, is meant to boost internet security, Google developer Niels Provos told dpa.

Two of the biggest internet threats are malware, which criminals can use to take control of other computers, and phishing scams, which try to seek out passwords or other private information. To protect against those, Provos developed Google’s Safe Browsing programme seven years ago.

Google has used the information from Safe Browsing to warn about 1 billion users of the Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers about dangerous websites. Should a user try to go to a suspect website, they will first be confronted with a warning.

Now Google is going to make public the sources of malware and phishing attacks. The report will show how many users per week receive Safe Browsing warnings; from which countries those websites originate; and how quickly websites again fall victim to malware after removal.

Provos says the move should make website operators and those responsible for security take a closer look at the problem. (dpa)