Microsoft announced it will now offer Bing search engine users more detailed warnings about potentially compromised websites and their dangers.
The warnings will focus on potential phishing and malware sites, and will warn users before they visit the sites.
Webmasters will also get notifications through the Bing dashboard as well as the ability to review the status of a potential problem after the issue is addressed.
Compromised websites are a growing challenge. Last month, a report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group found the number of distinct website links in phishing attacks jumped by more than 150% between October 2015 and March 2016. Attackers are creating the links as a new way to dodge traditional defenses. Most phishing URLs are hosted on hacked websites, according to the report.
Instead of a generic warning, Bing will now offer more specific information about different types of threats and their potential impacts.
For example, Bing will not only warn a user that a site it a potential phishing site, it will also explain how such a site could try to persuade or trick visitors into sharing financial or other sensitive information.
Bing users will be allowed to click through to "suspicious" sites, but it will recommend the user make another selection. Bing will also distinguish between sites that have links that lead to malware and sites that cause users harm just by visiting the page.
The new feature could help website operators cleanup faster if their site is compromised with malicious links.
"We understand that sites with warnings are not always bad actors. Websites are vulnerable to being hacked, and webmasters are vulnerable to being tricked, just like any other customer," said Chad Foster, Bing program manager in a company blog. "By refining our generic malware warning, our hope is that users are more informed and webmasters are able to clean their sites more efficiently."