Google To Alert Webmasters With Insecure Websites Through Google Webmasters Tools

by DB on October 17, 2008

Google is running a new test where it will provide alerts to Webmasters running insecure Content Management Systems (CMS) on their websites. This test is aimed to reduce the number of websites that are getting hacked due to CMS versions that are old and unpatched. The alerts will be shown on Google Webmasters Tools Message Center and will read something like the text in the following image.

Google is launching the test by targeting blogs and websites that are still running on an old version of WordPress (WP 2.1.1), a popular CMS package. The ‘generator’ tag on the webpages of these websites will be used to confirm the version of WordPress they are running on.

While this is definitely a useful addition to the Google Webmasters Tools, it is still not clear how this feature will be extended to websites that are using other Content Management Systems. Some CMS packages do not produce the “generator’ tag. Moreover, anyone with good programming skills can also work around and get rid of those tags that are auto-generated by CMS packages. Also, no time line for this test has been provided. When this feature will be rolled out to all users is still unknown.

A comment on the Google Blog entry that announced this test also raises a request for a new feature in Webmaster Tools. It would be great if a new option to forward messages from the Webmaster tools Message Center to a webmaster’s Gmail account is provided.

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