Google Tags Itself as a Malware Risk

The world’s most popular search engine is a source of malware infections. This was brought forward by Google itself.

If you go to the Safe Browsing Site Status of Google’s transparency report and key in as the site to be checked, you will be notified that the current status of the site is partially dangerous. You will get a warning stating that some of the pages on Google have deceptive content.

The details of the security note explain that the sites that are hosted on Google Groups might install malware on the user. It is not as awkward as it sounds, states the Washington Post. However, the tool flags the entire domain “unsafe” in case there is user generated unsafe content in the services that are hosted by Google. The browsing diagnostic tool seems to be pretty confused on whether some sites are dangerous or not. In the Google website check, two sites are listed as potentially malicious that are hosted on Google groups. Though, checking the same diagnostic tool with these malware affected sites displays the result as safe. Since the site status is not updated in real time, this can mean that the flagged content is currently safe; however, the top level domain i.e. Google has not yet updated the status.

There is also a warning on phishing dangers. These warnings state that some of the pages on this website redirect the visitors to some dangerous websites that install malware on the visitors’ computers, and that a lot of dangerous web pages have been sending visitors to Google. What is interesting is that yesterday Google had tagged itself as partially dangerous, but after a while that status was changed to ‘not dangerous’ and the phishing warning had been removed. However, this morning it is back, and the website is again marked as partially dangerous.

The Chief Scientist at dark web intelligence outfit Flashpoint, Lance James states that Google is a service provider, which provides content hosting to their users as well. He goes on to add that his investigation shows that 0.5% of maliciousness is hosted on the Google sites and user content servers that they host. Lance said that it is a good thing that Google is transparent about these findings.

Google states that a billion people across the globe make use of the Safe Browsing that delivers warnings to Chrome, Safari and Firefox users when they are about to visit a site with malicious content.

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