A little-known capability in Google’s search engine has helped security vendor Websense uncover thousands of malicious Web sites, as well as several legitimate sites that have been hacked, the company said today.
By taking advantage Google’s binary search capability, Websense has created new software tools that can sniff out malware using the popular search engine. Websense researchers Googled for strings that were used in known malware like the Bagel and Mytob worms and have uncovered about 2,000 malicious Web sites over the past month, according to Dan Hubbard, senior director of security and research with Websense.
Though Google is widely used to search the Internet for Web pages and office documents, the search engine can also peek through the binary information stored in the normally unreadable executable (.exe) files that are run by Windows computers. “They actually look inside the internals of an executable and index that information,” Hubbard said.