06-13-2009 06:26 PM
There is something I have been wondering about since norton safeweb was released a few months ago.
I for one use Google more than any other search engine and I love how safeweb embeds security ratings into my search results. However, why does norton safeweb not embed these rating into my results when searching for images or videos? I also notice that when I would click on news results for what I am searching for on Google there are no ratings as well. Has anyone else noticed this?
From what I can tell on other search engines like Yahoo and Ask there are also no ratings when searching for images and videos. Does norton have any plans to make safeweb able to embed ratings into all types of search results?
06-13-2009 06:58 PM - edited 06-13-2009 07:06 PM
Actually, I was wondering the same thing!
It would appear that it would be a great amount of information to index.
Even many of the sites on Google are still unrated.
06-13-2009 08:34 PM
The answer may be in the method by which Norton Safe Web analyzes website content:
"The Norton Internet Security and Norton Anti Virus products have a feature called Norton Community Watch that sends an automated submission to the Norton Safe Web analysis system when a threat is detected on a user's machine. These submissions are analyzed by the Norton Safe Web system to confirm malicious behavior which is subsequently served up to our users as site ratings. Norton Community Watch currently has millions of users. We receive a large number of unique URL submissions each day and see a significant jump in case of outbreaks. This approach leverages the power of the large Norton community to detect malicious pages.
Thorough analysis of a web page requires the use of different technologies and takes a few minutes. Norton Safe Web uses signature based file scanning, intrusion detection engines, behavioral detection and also install/uninstall analysis in a virtual environment. Typical real-time solutions offered by other vendors do not perform a thorough analysis of the web page leading to poor coverage of the threat spectrum. Some threats that real-time solutions do not detect are malicious downloads, fake codecs installed from unknown server or domain, web pages with obfuscated java script which do not trigger known signatures.
As described above, we use the millions of members of the Norton Community to detect malicious sites. We also perform targeted crawling based on different heuristics and receive malicious site feeds from external sources."
When you are searching for images or video, you are seeing results for individual components of an entire web page. Based upon the methods listed above, rating each piece of page content individually would be extremely difficult and as Smart_Neuron mentioned, the indexing would be incomprehensible.
However, all is not lost. When searching for images or video, if you click on an image or video result and you are taken to an unsafe web page, Norton Safe Web will alert you with a pop up indicating that the site is unsafe. I just tested this and it does work.
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06-13-2009 08:56 PM
Glad to hear that Phil. Thanks for the very detailed response.
Yes the amount of indexing that would be necessary is incomprehensible. However, couldn't safeweb still embed the ratings for the entire site that the video or photo comes from? Even though safeweb does block you from visiting the most harmful of sites, I for one would like the peace of mind that the green check mark gives me when navigating to a site.
Also, has anyone noticed that there are no ratings when you click on news results in google? Since the results in this category are specifically websites I find it strange that safeweb would not be able to embed the ratings into these responses as well.
06-13-2009 09:00 PM
Phil_D's explanation is well taken.
As a matter of fact, I have visited a few websites that are marked with a red "X" indicating a warning, even though the site is known to be safe. The owner/representative of the site can then substantiate it's safety by visiting this Symantec site:
However, the question of why *other* search engines are not included with the Safe Web capability is still open.
06-13-2009 09:05 PM
06-13-2009 09:16 PM - edited 06-13-2009 09:33 PM
Yes, this is true. Hopefully Symantec will include Bing in the picture.
While Google is great, there are other methods of search logic and Safe Web would be of direct benefit to them, IMHO.
06-13-2009 09:23 PM
You are right SN.
It is important to realize that there are other search engines besides Google. Obviously to compete with Google though they need to be willing to adapt to the changing demands of the consumer. We want security and the peace of mind that our online activities are not endangering that security. Hopefully Bing will do whatever it can to expedite the embeding of safeweb ratings into its search results.
06-15-2009 09:33 AM
Yes, we're working on Bing as quickly as we can. Expect it to be supported soon.
Point taken about google images and videos as well as other search engines. The truth is, annotating search engine is an moving target. There is no one standard for display search engine results, therefore Norton needs to account for the format of each search engine and all of their myriad of features. In addition, these search engines are regularly changing their webpages. Some smart heuristics and some flexible scripts might allow us to adjust to some of changes dynamically, these pages are often changed radically (they might look the same, but they can completely change they're internal wiring on us). In short, there is a non-trivial on-going cost for every search engine page we support, and so we've tried to be selective in picking the most common and heavily used search engine pages.
Feedback as to which search features we don't cover you think are important would be helpful to us going forward.