Dan Hubbard, senior director of security and technology research at the San Diego-based Web filtering software firm, said the use of the Google API started as an experiment after bloggers noticed that some Google search queries were returning .exe files.
When Google indexes an executable file, Hubbard's research team found, the search engine parses the PE (Portable Executable) file format of the Windows executable. This means that queries can be written to extract items from the internals of the binary.
By taking advantage Google's binary search capability, Websense has created new software tools that can sniff out malware using the popular search engine. Websense researchers Googled for strings that were used in known malware like the Bagel and Mytob worms and have uncovered about 2,000 malicious web sites over the past month, according to Dan Hubbard, senior director of security and research with Websense.
Security experts have found thousands of worms, trojans and malicious files all over the internet, by using the Google search engine.