Chile Earthquake: How Google Is Lending a Hand
Article by George Norman
On 01 Mar 2010
When an earthquake hit Haiti earlier this year, the Mountain View-based search engine giant showed its support in more than one way. For example it set up a special disaster relief information site where it presented news and updates about the earthquake and listed ways for people to donate money. On top of that Google donated $1 million to organizations on the ground.

As you may already know, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile late last week – on the 27th of February to be more precise. Once again, Google is showing its support. For example it rolled out Person Finder: Chile Earthquake, a very simple web service that allows users to search for missing people; it also allows users that have information on someone to add said information to the database.


“PLEASE NOTE: All data entered will be available to the public and viewable and usable by anyone. Google does not review or verify the accuracy of this data,” says the disclaimer on the Person Finder webpage.

When something big happens, the bad guys jump right on it. It happened when Haiti was hit by an Earthquake (see here) and it is happening again with the Chile earthquake – the bad guys are exploiting this high profile event to lure people to malware spreading websites. Senior Security Advisor with Sophos, Chester Wisniewski, explained that hackers are already using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to poison searches and trick users who search for more details about the Chile earthquake into visiting malicious sites.

“When you search for breaking news, be aware that attackers often publish links faster than the legitimate media. Get in the habit of using Yahoo! News, Google News, or another trusted service. Only news published by trusted media sources are aggregated onto these services, unlike a regular search using your favorite search engine,” commented Chester Wisniewski.

If you want to find out more about the Chile earthquake, or learn more on how you can help, Google’s got you covered. It set up a site here that provides pretty much all the info you need.

Tags: Google, Chile, Earthquake
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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