Archive for February, 2009

Google admits error having tagged the entire web as Malware

February 3, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Last Saturday around 10:30AM CST, when I was browsing the internet doing some searches, every search result coming from Google was tagged as malware with the phrase “This site may harm your computer”.

Fascinated and alarmed, I tried to change browsers from Firefox into IE but nothing changed. My Sparky toolbar kept on redirecting my search to a security warning page which makes me more concerned as this was not normal.

Based on my reading, while Google was updating their lists of flagged sites(as they normally do with StopBadware.org, a non-profit organization helping them in developing the criteria for their list) a “/” was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and “/” expands to all URLs. However, Google’s reliability team was able to detect the human-made error and successfully reverted the file. The problem lasted for about 40 mins.

Google explained that the error resulting from a DDOS attack did not come from StopBadware.org as they had claimed full responsibility on the mistake and extended an apology to the public for the inconvenience.