According to a new study, Bing searches deliver five times as many malicious website links than a Google search for the same phrase.
An 18-month study by a German independent testing lab called AV-Test has shown that Bing searches are five times more likely to offer links to malicious websites than Google searches, despite both sites working to suppress such results.
The study analysed nearly 40 million websites delivered by seven different search engines globally, with Google and Bing accounting for around 10 million results each. Approximately 13 million sites came from Russian search engine Yandex, whilst the remaining results were emitted from Faroo, Teoma, Baidu and Blekko.
Only 5,000 malicious sites emerged from the 40 million checked, but of these Google delivered the least with 272 dangerous sites. Bing returned 1,285 malicious results, with Yandex having the most malicious sites cropping up in searches with 3,330. Blekko had 203 sites out of 3 million come up as containing harmful content.
Like the majority of bloggers and corporations, cybercriminals use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tactics to move their sites to the top of search engine results.
The AV-Test study showed that the malware creators “first create a multitude of small websites and blogs before selecting the most frequently used search terms for top news stories and using backlinks to optimise these terms for search engines.”
However, the study did warn search engine users to be wary. Although the number of malicious sites found in both Bing and Google searches are small, the odds of hitting a malicious site are repeated billions of times daily due to the sheer amount of searches carried out on the sites.
“[It] is important to remember that Google alone deals with a phenomenal total of 2 to 3 billion search requests worldwide every day,” reads the study. “If this total is factored into the calculations, the total number of websites containing malware found by the search engine is enough to make your head spin!”
In 2009, Google said it handled around 320 million searches a day in the US alone and 2 billion globally, but with the rise of smartphones and tablets this is bound to be far more.
Via: PC Mag