Google Malware Warnings
Interesting! Google seems to be restricting some of its search results. I was searching for some articles to help me with a website that I’m designing when I was suddenly confronted with this warning page:
Now, I was surprised the first time around, so I just let it pass… (after visiting the link to StopBadware.org, of course!) Then I came across it again! Like so…
So I visited the site again. The home page details that Stopbadware.org has tied up with some majors, including Google, Lenovo, Sun Microsystems, AOL, Trend Micro, VeriSign and PayPal. And apparently Google has been showing the warnings for quite a while now, and I’ve been somewhere else in this universe…
They also seem to have some influential members on the Advisory Board and on the Working Group. Their blog also lists some interesting cases where software has been allowed to do bad things to your system, and you’re not aware of it.
What Do You Do?
Has your blog or website been blocked by this notification? You’re sure that you’re not a malware producer or distributor… So, why has Google ranked you as one? It sure is discouraging people from visiting your website, so you need to get it sorted out quick.
Are you REALLY sure that you’re not sending out badware to every person who visits your site? Take a look at what Stopbadware.org says in its FAQs –
Currently, many sites that are the subject of Google’s warnings have been the victims of a malicious hacking attack, in which code linking directly to badware through exploits was inserted onto an otherwise innocent, but poorly secured, website. In other cases, a website with no intention to distribute badware hosts content (such as ads or hit counters) provided by a third party, and can inadvertently distribute badware through that content. If you are confused about why your site has a Google warning, then there are strong odds that your site has experienced one of the above situations.
To remove the warning, you will need to discover what code on your site caused Google to flag your site, and then clean and secure your site.
So, maybe something has happened that you were not aware of, and someone has exploited a loophole in your website’s security. StopBadware.org has also got some tips to get you started on cleaning up your website and to get out of their list. Here’s the form to request removal from the Stop Badware list.
It looks to me like they’re doing a good job of it… but what if my ideology about what software can and should do differs from theirs? I can no longer even tell the world about it, Google is blocking my website!
Well, my take on it is, that if you’re out to harm my computer, I’d rather have your website blocked. If you’re un-intentionally promoting sites/software/ads that do bad things to my computer, I’d like a warning… and I’d like you to get your site cleaned up so that I can tell the world just how great a website it is.