Saturday, January 31, 2009

Massive Google Malware Meltdown (Updated)


Google searches this morning were leading to ominous warning pages: "Visiting this site may harm your computer!"

I was reading background on the Cuban Five's petition to the U.S. Supreme Court and everything led to the warning pages. The Washington Post reported on the unusual error here.

Update: Here's Google's explanation:
What happened? Very simply, human error. Google flags search results with the message "This site may harm your computer" if the site is known to install malicious software in the background or otherwise surreptitiously. We maintain a list of such sites through both manual and automated methods. We periodically update that list and released one such update to the site this morning. Unfortunately (and here's the human error), the URL of '/' was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and '/' expands to all URLs.
Interesting. A single / caused all that. Just imagine the mischief one could create at Google if one were so inclined.

2 comments:

thisisnowhere said...

How 'bout they offer Joanne Chessimard, Charlie Hill, Cheri Dalton, Ishmael Ali and a few others to sweeten the deal?

Tracey Eaton said...

yeah, that's where it gets interesting. I interviewed one of those you mentioned on my last trip to Cuba, and am doing a story. interesting topic...