Google Security, Privacy & Abuse Research

We are a team of engineers, researchers, advocates, and hackers who make the Internet safer for all users.

About our work

Our team brings together experts from systems, networking, cryptography, machine learning, and user experience to advance the state of security, privacy, and abuse research. Our mission is straightforward:

Make the world’s information trustworthy and safe. We strive to keep all information on the Internet free of deceptive, fraudulent, unwanted, and malicious content. Users should never be at risk for sharing personal data, accessing content, or conducting business on the Internet.

Defend users, everywhere. Internet users can face incredibly diverse threats, from governments to cybercrime and sexual abuse. We approach research, design, and product development with the goal of protecting every user, no matter their needs, from the start.

Advance the state of the art. Making the Internet safer requires support from the public, academia, and industry. We foster initiatives that shape the direction of security, privacy, and abuse research for the next generation.

Some of Our Research Areas

The technologies we develop have a broad impact across Google. Here are just some of our current research initiatives and the products they help protect.

Our crawlers and analysis engines represent the state of the art for detecting malware, unwanted software, deception, and targeted attacks. These threats span the web, binaries, extensions, and mobile applications.
We continue to develop one of the most sophisticated machine learning and reputation systems to protect users from scams, hate and harassment, and sexual abuse.
We are pioneering advancements in browser, mobile, and cloud security including sandboxing, auto-updates, fuzzing, program analysis, formal verification, and vulnerability research.
Our team of warrior scientists actively protects users and businesses from payment fraud, invalid traffic, denial of service, and bot automation. We fight all things fake—installs, clicks, likes, views, and accounts.
We are re-defining informed user decision making. Our work spans warnings, notifications, and advice. This includes informing our designs based on the privacy attitudes, personas, and segmentation across Internet users.
We are developing the next generation of mechanisms for encryption (e.g., end-to-end & post-quantum) authentication, and privacy-preserving analytics. This includes advanced modeling to detect account hijacking.

Some of Our Initiatives

We interact closely with academic research institutions and industry partners around the world on a wide range of initiatives. As part of this, we started the ENIGMA conference to help bridge the divide between the two communities.

Industry Initiatives

Sharing expertise with M3AAWG

For almost 10 years, Google has supported the Messaging, Mobile, and Malware Anti-Abuse Working Group, contributing time and expertise towards technology sharing and the development of industry best-practices.

Safe Browsing API

Safe Browsing is a free Google service that lets client applications check URLs against Google's constantly updated lists of unsafe web resources. Examples of unsafe web resources are social engineering sites and sites that host malware or unwanted software.

Helping missing and exploited children

Google is a strong supporter of NCMEC. We supply money, engineering time, hardware, and software in order to help save missing and exploited children.

Academic Initiatives

Faculty research awards

Our Google Faculty Research Award Program identifies and strengthens long-term collaborative relationships with faculty working on problems that make the Internet safer. In the past five years, we’ve supported 35 faculty members and 29 institutions.

PhD student fellowships

The Google PhD Fellowship Program was created to recognize outstanding graduate students doing exceptional work in computer science and related research areas. In the past five years, we’ve awarded 10 fellowships in security, privacy, and abuse.

Grant, program, and steering committees

We engage and support a wide spectrum of conferences. Here are just a few: NDSS 2017, ACM CCS 2016, Usenix SOUPS 2016, Usenix Security 2016, IEEE Security & Privacy 2016, ACM CHI 2016, PLDI 2016, CAV 2016.

Some of Our Team

Tech Lead Manager, Security Research
“As users ourselves, Google engineers understand the need to prioritize users' security and privacy, which makes security research at Google particularly rewarding.”
Senior Staff Research Scientist
“It's exciting to see so much energy in privacy research and the broad application and advancement of state-of-the-art privacy technology at Google.”
Staff Research Scientist
“Abuse research blends technology, policy, and enforcement to address the most important threats that our users face.”
Distinguished Engineer
“Research at Google allows us to leverage Google's scale and infrastructure to pursue, validate, and realize ideas that can significantly improve the security and privacy of users and companies everywhere.”
Meet More of Our Team

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