Google beefed up the way it displays Safe Browsing Alerts for Network Administrators this week, adding information about sites peddling unwanted and malicious software as well as those caught carrying out social engineering attacks.

Google debuted the service, which notifies network admins after observing potentially damaging URLs on their networks, in 2010.

Going forward, administrators will be alerted when users stumble on sites that either fool them into giving up sensitive information such as passwords or trick them into downloading unwanted software.

Admins will also be alerted when users visit sites that have a reputation for performing ad injections and distributing malicious software, Trojans and viruses.

“Network administrators can use the data provided by our service to gain insights into the security and quality of their network. By working together, we can make it more challenging and expensive for attackers to profit from user harm,” Nav Jagpal, a software engineer with Google, wrote on its Security Blog Wednesday.

The service previously only notified admins if one of their users navigated to a page that was seen doling out drive-by download exploits, or visited a domain that was known for serving up malware or launching exploits.

Google’s Safe Browsing service, which helps protect users on Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, in addition to Google Chrome, still has an enormous reach with approximately 1 billion users. According to the company’s Transparency Report, just last week, more than 57 million users visited an unsafe site and were notified by the service.

The service is constantly in flux. In February, Google tweaked the API associated with it to detect deceptive embedded content, such as download buttons or content in ads that trick users into sharing passwords or calling tech support.

Google’s Safe Browsing Alerts for Network Administrators, an extension of the tools it provides to webmasters, is less popular. The tool has still been successful however. Jagpal claims it monitors 22,000 autonomous system numbers (ASNs) and sends 250 reports a day to 1300 admins who use it.

Categories: Malware, Vulnerabilities, Web Security