Risky websites to be flagged in Yahoo! Search

7 May 2008

Websites that may harm a user’s computer just by visiting them will be omitted from Yahoo! search engine rankings, following a partnership between the search company and security firm McAfee.

The two companies signed a multi-year global deal that will see Yahoo! Search incorporate McAfee’s award-winning SiteAdvisor technology. As well as omitting potentially dangerous sites, other risky sites containing potential threats such as spyware, adware and malware will be flagged in the search listings.

The new service, entitled SearchScan, also identifies sites that have shown bad email practices, flooding users’ inboxes with spam emails.

SearchScan launched in beta version today and is available for Yahoo! Search users in the UK, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Spain.

“The new SearchScan feature from Yahoo! Search makes searching the web even safer than ever before,” said Vish Makhijani, senior vice-president and general manager of Yahoo! Search. “No other search engine today offers this level of warning before visiting sites that can damage or infect a user’s PC and cost them valuable time and money.

“Through this partnership with McAfee, we can offer users a safer search experience and drive more users to make Yahoo! Search their starting point on the web.”

“We are very excited to have Yahoo! as a partner to make the internet more secure for everyone,” commented Tim Dowling, McAfee vice-president, web security group.

“The advance warning offered by McAfee SiteAdvisor is one of the strongest weapons in the battle against online threats. Research indicates that four out of five website visits start with a search and consumers who use Yahoo! Search will now be alerted to high-risk websites. This protects users from known malicious threats, such as browser exploits that will wreck their PC with a single click or spyware that can lead to identity theft.”

McAfee’s SiteAdvisor software has been downloaded more than 135 million times.

By Niall Byrne