Searcher beware: Bing has twice as many poison links as Google

Microsoft prides itself on claiming that Bing gives more relevant results than Google, and a new study claims that it's definitely true - at least if you're looking for viruses. 

Over at Sophos' Naked Security blog, Fraser Howard says that compared to Google users, Bing users encounter twice as many 'poisoned links,' or websites that contain malware and exploits like Blackhole. A whopping 92% of poison links encountered on Bing come from images. Howard says that three out of the six images shown below redirect to malicious sites:

Now, why does Bing have more poisoned links than its competitors? That's a good question, and one that Sophos doesn't offer an answer to. It's possible, though, that it really doesn't have that problem - maybe it's just that a large portion of Bing users are less tech savvy than Google users, and possbily less skilled when it comes to avoiding malware. Since Sophos' findings rely on the number of malicious redirects encountered by their security software, it's not exactly set in stone that Bing has more poison links than Google, just that Sophos users are encountering more malware through Bing than through Google.

More importantly, what can you do to protect yourself when you're searching? Besides buying lots and lots of Sophos products, it's generally a good idea to look at the URL before you click on it, and make sure that you really know where you're going. And most importantly, try not to be stupid.

Source: Naked Security | Via PC World | Image via Naked Security

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28 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Ah simplezz trolling again.

Tell me how many browsers have a full sandbox? How many of them have TPLs? Are fully ASLR enabled? Why is it that even though IE has been hacked at competitions like Pwn2Own, the hackers themselves say IE is the hardest to crack.

Google suffers from this very same problem as Bing. They both link to other sites, but at least Bing doesn't load the entire webpage in the background when you want to view an image.

I probably live in a parallel universe where Bing has no use for me... despite trying hard to like it.

What irks me is the fact that people here think Bing is the greatest thing on Earth.

Atreus said,
I probably live in a parallel universe where Bing has no use for me... despite trying hard to like it.

What irks me is the fact that people here think Bing is the greatest thing on Earth.

Same for me. I've tried again and again to use it and never get as good of results.

Atreus said,
I probably live in a parallel universe where Bing has no use for me... despite trying hard to like it.

Who acts like it's the greatest thing on Earth? While of course there are people who excessively claimed it to be better than Google, but most of what I see is people defending it against those who talk **** about it but dont use it.


What irks me is the fact that people here think Bing is the greatest thing on Earth.


Atreus said,

What irks me is the fact that people here think Bing is the greatest thing on Earth.

I suspect these people are just happy with a search engine in general, since Bing is the default search for the default IE browser.

I doubt that few would stay with Bing once they had tried Google search.

Atreus said,

What irks me is the fact that people here think Bing is the greatest thing on Earth.

take an anger management class...

I've never had a problem with dodgy links on Bing and the experience and search results are infinitely better than Google's.

Unfortunately, whilst any of the popular search engines fail to filter out the rogue links, users will continue to be at risk of having their web traffic hijacked.

jasonon said,
i have never had any strange website encounters from bing

You will never see their creepiness, Common Sense is useless here, driver by download, exploits and vulns are invisible to the users.

syobon999 said,

You will never see their creepiness, Common Sense is useless here, driver by download, exploits and vulns are invisible to the users.

Yes, and you won't see this on Bing because Bing actually secures against this...

When you click on a picture on Bing, it loads it in a Bing page. If you do the same on Google, click on an image search result, Google opens the website in the background, executing any malware that could be on the page.

So in the event you click on a poisoned result, you are safer using Bing than Google.

thommcg said,

Study invalidated!

Study invalidated because it's from some ahole comapny like Sophos!!

I'll take Bing over Google EVERYDAY of the week!!

rfirth said,

Yes, and you won't see this on Bing because Bing actually secures against this...

When you click on a picture on Bing, it loads it in a Bing page. If you do the same on Google, click on an image search result, Google opens the website in the background, executing any malware that could be on the page.

So in the event you click on a poisoned result, you are safer using Bing than Google.


For some images I get...
"Displaying this page may force you to leave Bing Images. Opening the page in a new window will prevent this."

But some image's webpage just loads below....

M_Lyons10 said,
I think a much more detailed study is necessary before any sort of determination is made...

Agreed, I haven't noticed this in my personal browsing. Just reporting on Sophos' claims

THolman said,

Agreed, I haven't noticed this in my personal browsing. Just reporting on Sophos' claims

Yeah fare enough, I honestly don't think they can say that though, probably just mad at Microsoft for integrating security essentials into Windows 8

You do realize ad placement is upto the developers right? If you don't like the ads, pay for the premium version or find another app.

MS doesn't control it.

soldier1st said,

Just another reason to skip winbloz 8 or stick to 7.

Yes because x86 apps (which can't be on the store anyways) can't have ads right?

You can install and use x86 apps on Windows 8 just fine and you don't even have to use the store for anything (unless you're using Windows RT).

soldier1st said,

Just another reason to skip winbloz 8 or stick to 7.

As though I don't get spammed with ads and toolbar install prompts for every Windows 7 program I install.

soldier1st said,

Just another reason to skip winbloz 8 or stick to 7.

at least in Windows 8 the ads are controlled by Microsoft, instead of malware being automatically installed every time I install an application on Win7 O.O