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New cyber-security report highlights three threats Google is not warning users about

Kudos to Jon Swartz of USA Today for an article last week: "Hackers infiltrate search engines, social networks,"  and Byron Acohido in this week's  article "Anti-virus software isn't only computer security tool" for warning consumers that a Symantec cyber-security report shows a ~500% explosion in detected threats to Internet users from 2006-7.

Swartz' article highlights three new ways Google users are vulnerable to  identity theft, fraud, spyware, and malware threats

  • "Cybercriminals are using a chink in Google's website to redirect unsuspecting PC users to sites containing malicious software. When someone does a Google search, they are redirected to what appears to be a legitimate website. The site, in fact, is tainted with malware. Google says it is fixing the problem." 
  • "...the latest of three computer worms wriggled into Google's social-networking service, Orkut, in February."
  • "Scammers are sending personalized e-mail as meeting invitations in Google Calendar."

As the single biggest potential source of user vulnerability to cyber-threats on the Internet, why is Google not publicly disclosing the exploding risk and/or informing users how they can better protect themselves from these growing and serious cyber-threats?

  • It's simple. 
  • Google has a massive undisclosed financial conflict of interest, akin to the undisclosed conflicts in investment banking research that harmed so many investors in the Enron/WorldCom scandals and the bursting of the tech bubble. 
  • Google does not work for users.
  • Google works for websites and advertisers, who along with Google, would lose revenue if, Google did the responsible thing and notified consumers of their increased risk to cyber threats on infected sites so they could better protect themselves by not visiting known infected sites. 

What I continue to be surprised about is apparently how little concern there appears to be by the responsible authorities, consumer protection groups, Google, and the affected websites...

  • Are they sheepishly looking the other way or just asleep at the switch?
  • Consumers deserve better.
  • Crooks' best friend are those who see crimes and do nothing...