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Bing found to bring back 5x more malware links than Google

Microsoft’s Bing search engine is said to retrieve five times as many potentially harmful malware search results as its closest rival Google.

A recent study carried out by an independent testing lab in Germany called AV-Test has revealed that Microsoft’s search engine, which launched much more recently than Google, retrieves a surprising number of links containing malware from web searches.

Over the course of 18 months the lab assessed over 40 million websites returned in searches on seven different search engines. Bing didn’t come out worst, however- Russian site Yandex returned almost three times as many malware links.

Of the 40 million websites tested, around 5,000 were found to contain malware in total. From testing the different search engines, AV-Test found Google to be the safest, returning 272 malicious results out of 10 million pages tested. Comparatively, and worryingly, Bing returned 1,285 malware-filled links. Yandex topped the list with 3,330 malicious links from a total of 13 million tested.

Search engines do their very best to ensure that dodgy websites and anything containing malware doesn’t appear in your search results, but it would appear that the bad guys behind the sites are using underhand tactics to heighten your level of risk when browsing the web. The same SEO methods used by websites to achieve higher search rankings are being used by malware creators in order to put more dodgy links higher up in your search results.

Despite the alarming nature of the study’s findings, the chances of the average web user clicking a malicious link are pretty low. Google alone deals with billions of search requests every single day, so for 272 links to be found containing malware in 18 months is pretty darn good.

Of course, if you’re a Bing user then the chances appear to be slightly higher. Hopefully Microsoft will take note and look into putting a fix in place.

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