How about this for the weekend talks – Google says “This site may harm your computer“. In short the whole internet may harm your computer.

Though I’m not sure what’s wrong with Google but this is the state of things around the web if you’re searching anything in google. Infact, if you search through any browser, the same status is showing around the globe. I’m sure some kinda bug has reportedly got into the google system which is showing such messages but the extent such malware is to be checked in due course of time.

P.S. Google Stocks also plunged southwards though no connection to this apparently :)

Till then, stay connected to this.

Update 1: It seems things are back to normalcy. Now we have to wait for Googlers to let us know what happened then…

Update 2. Soon enough Google got back into business and came up with an answer for the unusual glitch. Here’s what they had to say about the whole snag.

Marissa Mayer (VP, Search Products & User Experience) says:

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 do this to protect our users against visiting sites that could harm their computers. We maintain a list of such sites through both manual and automated methods. We work with a non-profit called StopBadware.org to come up with criteria for maintaining this list, and to provide simple processes for webmasters to remove their site from the list.

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. 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.

Update at 10:29 am PST: This post was revised as more precise information became available (changes are in blue). Here’s StopBadware’s explanation.

So, surprise surprise – there was no malware it seems. It just plain human error. No wonder, man made machines, machines didn’t made man :)

Tagged with: