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Bing Responds to Study Claiming Search Results Expose Users to Malware

Bing has hit back at a recent study which claimed that its search results were five times more likely to expose its users to malware than Google.

The study was conducted by German IT security firm AV-TEST, reviewing over 40 million web pages over an 18-month period. The results, released earlier this month, found that around .012 per cent of Bing's search results contained links to malicious websites, compared to .0025 per cent of Google's search results.

However, Bing has now responded to its study, claiming that AV-TEST's findings are flawed, as they used a Bing API in order to conduct their research, rather than the user interface which has a malware warning system in place to alert users to potentially infected sites.

In a blog post on the Bing website, Bing's Senior Development Lead David Felstead commented: "The conclusions many have drawn from the study are wrong. AV-TEST's study doesn't represent the true experience or risk to customers."

Felstead added: "We don't explicitly remove malicious sites from the index because most are legitimate sites that normally don't host malware but have been hacked. Our research shows that if sites like this remain infected for a long period of time, their ranking will naturally fall because customers won't click on them."

Bing claims that around 0.04 per cent of all searches will result in malware warnings, which equates to around 1 in 2500 search result pages, and additionally, only a small proportion of these links will actually be clicked, and trigger the malware warning, meaning the risk is reduced to around 1 in every 10,000 searches.


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