The new Gmail document scanner managed to find 10 percent more fraudulent Office documents in e-mails in recent months than before. Since the end of last year, Google has been working with new self-learning software to deal with malware.
In a conversation with WIRED , Google researcher Elie Bursztein says that a 10 percent difference may sound small, but it will certainly help. "But we see machine learning as an extra layer on top of existing layers."
Around 56 percent of all malware attacks on Gmail users work with Office documents. The new analysis tool from Google scans these for known patterns from earlier malware.
In addition, the tool is above all effective in the case of major attacks from so-called botnets, which are executed at the same time, says Bursztein. The new software also turned out to be surprisingly good at finding malicious Excel files, something that other scanners are often worse off.