Author Topic: Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky  (Read 9000 times)

Offline sandbox

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« on: December 15, 2006, 07:50:16 AM »
QUOTE
Security researcher Ben Edelman has revisited his May 2006 report on the relative risk of search engine results. In the original report, Edelman found that 5 percent of the results provided by search engines were marked as either "red" or "yellow" by SiteAdvisor, indicating that they presented some risk to the user. Now, Edelman says that his new study has shown that only 4.4 percent of such sites are risky, representing a drop of 12 percent since May.

SiteAdvisor is a service provided by antivirus vendor McAfee that rates sites based on their affiliation with spyware, viruses, excessive pop-up advertisements, and junk e-mail. Edelman used the tool to run 2,500 popular keywords through several search engines, including Yahoo, MSN Search (now Windows Live Search), AOL Search, Ask.com, and of course Google.


http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061213-8417.html

this is a bit old but it tells a good story
Malware: what it is and how to prevent it
http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/malware.ars/1

Offline RHPConsult

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2006, 09:29:33 AM »
Does that mean (he asked, with jaw-dropping naiveté) that if one has an Intel Mac, w/WIN installed, it is just as susceptible to these web-gangsters as if it were a Dell/Gateway/or whatever box?

I'm thinking of installing XP on my new iMac (I can't believe I'm writing this!) so that my granddkids – on their frequent visits to the Olde Folks – can play some M$ games, as well as the Mac varieties they've used since they first could scroll and click.

Am I asking for trouble in any way, as long as we don't ever "search" on the WIN side, a most unlikely event?

I know, I know, I sense that what I don't understand is staggering!   huh.gif     eek2.gif

Offline Paddy

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2006, 10:59:53 AM »
The PC-junk will only affect the PC side of things though (as far as I can tell) - your Mac installation is still safe.

Good hygiene on the PC side (along with some supervision of the activities of the small fry) is a must and should protect you reasonably well. Anti-virus, anti-pop-up and anti-spyware/adware are all a must.

http://www.consumersearch.com/www/software...virus-software/
http://www.software-antivirus.com/

(I'd get the AOL software based on the Kapersky software, but use a throwaway email address so they won't bother you with their "offers")

Adware - Adaware is free. Not quite as highly rated as a couple of commercial products, but should be ok:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,119572-p...re/article.html

Pop-up blocker - Install Google Toolbar and enable the pop-up blocking. Also free, of course.

If you're going to offer them the option of playing games, be sure you use BootCamp. The GUI is limited to 8MB of VRAM in Parallels - which is abysmal or completely unusable for a lot of games.
"If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That'll do them in." ~Author unknown •iMac 5K, 27" 3.6Ghz i9 (2019) • 15" MBP(2019) 2.4Ghz i9 • 9.7" iPad Pro • iPhone 8

Offline gunug

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2006, 12:46:38 PM »
Gives a new meaning to the "I'm feeling lucky!" button at Google!
"If there really is no beer in heaven then maybe at least the
computers will work all of the time!"

Offline Xairbusdriver

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2006, 12:53:42 PM »
QUOTE
Does that mean...that if one has an Intel Mac, w/WIN installed, it is just as susceptible to these web-gangsters as if it were a Dell/Gateway/or whatever box?
Absolutely, exactly and YES. It's not the hardware that was/is the problem, it's always and probably always will be the OS. That's why Windows has been castigated for so long. Mac OSs have not been a problem. Linux/nix/nex/wheteverx, have not had the virus problems because they are a variant of Unix ( just as OS X is ). But Windows of any current/future flavor is still built on the same shaky foundation, just more duct tape and bailing wire on the newer versions. As long as Windows is around, I predict a good investment is in virus protection software companies.

The only good I can see from this is that Mac owners may become more security conscious, although that seems to not be the case with the majority of Windows users. dntknw.gif
I don’t like the fact that my chances of survival seem to be linked to the common sense of others. :Thinking:
CAUTION! Childhood vaccinations cause adults! :yes:

Offline sandbox

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2006, 01:28:49 PM »
QUOTE
IT: ALSR in Vista Gets OEM Push
Posted by Zonk on Friday December 15, @01:35PM
from the at-leas-they're-trying dept.
Security
gr00ve writes "Eweek is reporting that all the major OEMs will enable DEP/NX in their BIOSes by default to allow Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), a new security feature in Windows Vista, to work as advertised. ASLR, which is used to randomly arrange the positions of key data areas to block hackers from predicting target addresses, is meant to make Windows Vista more resilient to virus and worm attacks." From the article: "Because most CPUs that ship today support DEP/NX, Howard explained that Vista users on older hardware can use the control panel to manually verify that PCs have DEP enabled. With full support from OEMs, Microsoft is effectively using ASLR to create software diversity within a single operating system, a move that is widely seen as Redmond's attempt to address the monoculture risk. The memory-space randomization technique will block the majority of buffer overflow tricks used in about two-thirds of all worm and virus attacks."

http://slashdot.org/

Offline RHPConsult

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2006, 06:28:09 PM »
Paddy
Thanks for the specifics. I'll be sure my son (the swticher) with the new Intel iMac also gets the word.

SB
Well . . . that certainly clears a lot of things up for me. eek2.gif

ABD
 salute.gif
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 06:29:05 PM by RHPConsult »

Offline Texas Mac Man

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2006, 07:30:00 PM »
QUOTE(RHPConsult @ Dec 15 2006, 10:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm thinking of installing XP on my new iMac (I can't believe I'm writing this!) so that my granddkids – on their frequent visits to the Olde Folks – can play some M$ games, as well as the Mac varieties they've used since they first could scroll and click.

Am I asking for trouble in any way, as long as we don't ever "search" on the WIN side, a most unlikely event?


I would think the safest way would be to put Windows on a separate partition, or a separate HD.
Cheers, Tom

Mac PRAM, NVRAM, CUDA/PMU & Battery Tutorial
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Offline RHPConsult

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2006, 01:26:27 AM »
The HD will easily accommodate both an extra OS X (my usual practice) on a separate partition, as well as one for XP.

Somewhat tangentially, my discovering, hereabouts, the solution to my longstanding "skinny" OPEN/SAVE dialog box "glitch", suggests that I should drop the separate partition for Documents – that's been my practice for years (pre- and post-OSX) – and use Tiger the way The Leader presented it to us.

Never too olde to learn.  I hope.

Offline kimmer

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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2006, 11:01:37 AM »
QUOTE
Somewhat tangentially, my discovering, hereabouts, the solution to my longstanding "skinny" OPEN/SAVE dialog box "glitch", suggests that I should drop the separate partition for Documents – that's been my practice for years (pre- and post-OSX)

This was hard for me. I'd always saved my docs and pics on either a separate drive or partition, and having it all together was weird. I've learned though, so there's hope, RHP! I know you can do it. I know you can. smile.gif

Offline Xairbusdriver

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2006, 11:21:00 AM »
Sorry, I still don't think the 'one size fits all' approach is the best. Perhaps for complete computer newbies, but once one starts cramming more and more documents into a single folder, it makes for one messy shoebox. On the other extreme, it can be just as hard to find something buried at the bottom of 15 folders/directories. But isn't that what Spotlight is supposed to address? wallbash.gif

The 'computer' exists to help us, not the other way around. If we like to be more organized, the computer should not hinder that. That's still one of my biggest complaints about Apple's lack of ability to 'discover' its own apps on my hard drive, if they aren't lose in the "Applications" directory. Good grief, why can't the OSs developers be as flexible as all the other developers? No other updater for third-party apps requires me to keep it anywhere in particular, even when they suggest using the Applications folder. If they can find their own apps, anywhere on the drive, why can't Apple? It's ridiculous! rant.gif
I don’t like the fact that my chances of survival seem to be linked to the common sense of others. :Thinking:
CAUTION! Childhood vaccinations cause adults! :yes:

Offline Paddy

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2006, 11:42:32 AM »
I've always used the Documents file as intended by Apple - I just have over 275 subfolders... tongue.gif

They're all alphabetical of course, and quite a few of them have subfolders.

As long as I remember to put things where they belong, I'm fine. Most of the time it works, and when it doesn't, there's always Spotlight. smile.gif

I just installed the 15-trial version of Parallels and WinXP Pro on my MacBook Pro. Very painless. Will probably upgrade to the paid version later today - see no reason not to. Now I need to go find all that anti-everything-nasty software and FF for Windows and we'll be all set. Decided that NOT being able to play games was a big plus - keeps the under-16 set in this household from messing around with Mom's laptop. Besides, they spend quite enough time playing WoW on their own Macs!
"If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That'll do them in." ~Author unknown •iMac 5K, 27" 3.6Ghz i9 (2019) • 15" MBP(2019) 2.4Ghz i9 • 9.7" iPad Pro • iPhone 8

Offline RHPConsult

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2006, 11:43:39 AM »
You're both right! harhar.gif  Devilish2.gif

Although I'm recommending that Jim have some more eggnog!   eusa_dance.gif

Offline tacit

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2006, 04:12:20 PM »
Grr.

I hate sensationalist, vapid news reporting like this.

First of all, it is very, very, very important to understand that a red or yellow Site Advisor ranking does not actually necessarily mean a site is 'risky.' The yellow Site Advisor rankings can mean many, many things, some of which have nothing to do with "risk" at all.

Let me tell you a thing or two about Site Advisor.

Site Advisor lists my Web site, www.xeromag.com, as "yellow." It says my site is "risky" because it is a source of spam, and falsely claims that when the Site Advisor automated robot "signed up" at Xeromag.com, it started receiving spam.

This is bunk, because there is no way to "sign up" at my Web site. In February of this year, I filed a formal complaint with McAffee about my listing, and a McAffee Site Advisor employee acknowledged that the listing was incorrect and promised to correct it.

That was ten months ago. I'm still listed as "yellow."

It gets worse, too.

Sites that link to, or make reference to, "yellow" sites are ALSO listed as "dangerous." Every person who links to my Web site is listed as a "red" dangerous site. That includes my own Web sites (such as my T-shirt site villaintees.com and my other sites), and it includes every other person who links to my site. Linking to a supposed "yellow" or "red" site gets the linking site listed as being "dangerous" as well.

It seems clear that McAfee's goal is to list as many sites as possible as "bad," because that is how McAfee drums up business for their security programs. If they actually took care to list only malicious sites, such as sites with viruses and so on, then the number of "bad" sites they list would go way, way, way down.

And most sites that have viruses and other malware are only up for a few hours anyway, or days at most, and then get shut down...so it would not be possible to keep up with "bad" sites.

So we have a supposed "bad site" advisor, written for the purpose of selling products, that has no oversight and no effective way to appeal a listing, that lists sites that are harmless, and that lists sites that link to sites that are harmless, but does not and can not actually list the most harmful sites.

It's rubbish, and unfortunately, this lack of oversight and this business agenda means the operators have no motivation to make sure their listings are accurate. But people believe the listings, without actually investigating or even questioning what will put a site on this list.

I'm waiting for the first person who is falsely listed as I am and who has money to sue McAfee and bring the whole sorry, pathetic charade crashing down. If I had the money, I'd sue them myself.
A whole lot about me: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

Offline sandbox

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Study shows one in twenty-five search results are risky
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2006, 07:03:04 PM »
Well that's a drag. They also claim that spamassasin gives your domain a score of 15.
Did you have a form back in Feb. when the complaint was lodged?