Feeds

Google mistakes entire web for malware

This internet may harm your computer

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Updated A human error at Google caused its main search engine to briefly identify every site on the web as a potentially malicious destination that represented a threat to end users, the company said.

Starting early Saturday morning California time, the world's largest search engine flagged each search result with the warning: "This site may harm your computer".

Google Malware Snafu

Google: internet bad

Attempts to visit a search link were met with Google's standard malware warning, which blocks users from actually reaching the intended destination:

Google Malware Snafu

Do not proceed to internet

The glitch lasted for about an hour.

A post left a few hours later on a Google blog blamed the glitch on "human error." It seems someone in Mountain View mistakenly designated a "/" as a site that was surreptitiously trying to install malware on visitors' machines. Google's malware warning system took that to mean that every site on the internet was potential harmful to its users.

"Fortunately, our on-call site reliability team found the problem quickly and reverted the file," Marissa Mayer, Google's VP of search products and user experience, wrote. "Since we push these updates in a staggered and rolling fashion, the errors began appearing between 6:27 a.m. and 6:40 a.m. and began disappearing between 7:10 and 7:25 a.m., so the duration of the problem for any particular user was approximately 40 minutes."

Google's malware warning system is a joint effort between the search giant and StopBadware.org. Together, they generate a list in real time of sites believed to sneak malware and unwanted software onto visitors' machines. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?