Security company Barracuda Networks has named Google the "king of malware," in a report released this month that shows the popular search site linking to twice as many malware sites and files as its chief competitors, Bing, Twitter, and Yahoo combined.
Barracuda points to a growing need for online reputation checks as user-generated content becomes more and more popular. 88 billion searches per month appear on Google, which served up 69% percent of the malware appearing on the Internet, next to Yahoo's 18%, Bing's 12%, and Twitter's 1%. The most popular categories for malware were: spyware, entertainment, search-engines-portals, hosting-sites, peer-to-peer, business, proxies, shopping, and computing-technology while the top ten terms included the name of a NFL player, three actresses, a Playboy Playmate and a college student who faked his way into Harvard.
Malware distributors rely on tracking topics that are trending on search engines, and Google is quick to pick up trending topics, which may account for the large amount of malware appearing on it. Another possible reason may be its large market share.
Barracuda also examined Twitter in detail, looking at its "crime rate," the number of accounts being suspended. Looking at this rate provides insight into the current efforts of spammer to use the social networking service.
The company says new dangerous websites have increased by 5.6 percent since April, with 23% of company security breaches coming from employees who accessed personal web-based mail accounts.