It's always fun when things work better than you had hoped for, and that must be about the warm-fuzzy feeling flowing through Google right now. Along with helping connect millions of people to information every day, championing net neutrality
, and doing no evil, they're now also being used to scour the internet
and clean up malware.
Google has provided an API framework for its search services, which the SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) standard is a part of. The boys in the malware division of Websense
have found a way to utilize Google's API to locate instances of known malware on servers, with some surprising results. The search actually reads through pieces of the executable files, which can then be searched for by using snippets of known malware code. The result? A very comprehensive list of executable files containing known malware.
The technique was actually noticed by some bloggers, who kept finding compiled EXE files when looking for certain information. Websense then picked up the torch, figuring out through the API exactly what Google used to query the files. Though nobody will be able to clean the world of malware in a day, the finding will allow much more complete detection, flagging, and removal of known sources.
Another day, another feather in the cap of Google. Pretty soon, they'll just need to change their logo to something more Superman-esque, maybe just a big G in a funky shape.
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