Google Serving Up Malware Warnings

Jan 12, 2007 • 8:43 am | comments (2) by twitter | Filed Under Miscellaneous

Malware or spyware is often confused as being something that can only come from opening a bad email attachment. In fact, there are many web pages that contain this kind of additional code, which can cause havoc for your personal computer or even a network you are in. In many cases, sites and pages use tracking software which some would also consider to be spyware or malware. However, in most of these cases there is little damage that the program could do, and it will in fact increase your user experience by customizing your pages to your past behavior.

So what kinds of malware could be bad? Google apparently uses a system that can help you find out. A recent thread at WebmasterWorld forums discusses the following introduction by a member:

While searching for a specific keywords or just typing my domain name in Google and after clicking on my site, it generates a warning named: "Malware Warning". Further they say: "Warning - visiting this web site may harm your computer! You can learn more about harmful web content and how to protect your computer at"
Although some interesting and valuable discussion follows, one of the best replies came in the form of a post from Google Engineer Matt Cutts, who describes a similar discussion occurring in the Webmaster Central Google Group. Matt explains that people that claim they are seeing this result for a site that does not have any malware should look more closely.
I’ve checked out a quite a few “we don’t have any malware” reports at this point, and I’ve yet to see a false positive

To find out more about Google's Malware reports see the thread at WebmasterWorld or the Matt Cutts’ blog post.

Previous story: Supplemental Results Arenât Something To Be Afraid Of


Richard Ball

01/12/2007 03:26 pm

Chris, I felt lame doing this but I posted a comment to Matt's blog about a problem I'm having with AdWords. (Crazy that the offical Inside AdWords blog has no comments.) I'm seeing spikes in Search network traffic (not Content network) from a domain that is owned by a company that appears to be distributing spyware. In effect, then, Google is (inadvertently?) funding spyware. Check your AQNT clients' logs for Search network clicks from this domain: If you want more details, I've posted a timeline on my blog. It's a long post.


07/14/2008 10:34 pm

I've come across a false positive on this site. The diagnostics page says nothing came from it or was detected, but they still announce it when clicking on a search result. This could bring up some sticky legal issues for them as it damn well should. I don't mind flagging a site for this, but to flag someone with no history of it is a total different story. That pretty much falls into the same category of saying that someone is probably a criminal in a public forum. That is usually the kind of action that gets one sued big time. Any lawyers reading?

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