Google Search appears to have gone into a Malware warning meltdown, with every natural search result being flagged with ‘This site may harm your computer’. And that includes Google itself!
My first though was perhaps a local virus, but within seconds of posting about it on Twitter I started getting responses indicating that it’s affecting everyone.
I’m sure it’s probably a momentary problem, but it’s annoying as you have to go to any site via the Google Warning page and then copy and paste the url manually to reach your destination site – and in the meantime there’s no way to tell which sites might really be flagged up as dangerous.
Incidentally, there’s no news yet on the Google Blog, which is also flagged as dangerous via search!
Update: 3.09pm GMT:
News results within search results appear to be fine, and Image Search is OK as well. Meanwhile Twitter has gone into overdrive about it. It seems as if StopBadware.org, which Google uses for Malware information etc, is down, which is a likely cause.
Update: 3.22pm GMT – Normality Restored.
It looks as if the Apocalypse has been postponed as results are back to normal. Although StopBadware is still offline.
Update: 5pm – Official response from Google:
There’s an official response on the Google Blog – An update to the url list of bad sites supplied by StopBadware was released, and…
‘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. Fortunately, our on-call site reliability team found the problem quickly and reverted the file. 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.’
Marissa Mayer, VP, Search Products & User Experience