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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Google Incorrectly Blocks Access to Major Tech Sites

Posted by @ 7:38 pm

What was meant as a good deed turned into a horrible mistake. Google recently blocked access to several major tech news websites due to a Malware scare. However, Google claims that they were only doing what they thought was best for their users at the time.

At the time Google blocked websites such as TechCrunch, Cult of Mac, Inside Facebook and Vator News. Google scanned the websites and what they all had in common was advertisements from the isocket ad program, which was detected as containing malware. As a result, Google decided to temporarily prevent their users from being able to access these websites for their own protection. The diagnostics page for iSocket reported 159 exploits at the time. Some websites like Techrunch took to disabling the ads as the advertising company set to getting things fixed.

Naturally, the bosses of these various websites were furious. Many of them even lashed out at Google including isockets founder and CEO John Ramey who stated the following:

So far we have zero indications of malware actually being distributed by our ad server, and zero traces of any breaches to our industry-standard security. Google’s malware system is often contradictory and prone to false positives that inappropriately cripple good websites. We are vigorously investigating what the issue may have been and trying to get our publishers back online. It’d be nice if Google was as quick to fix a false positive as they were to cripple good businesses.

In June, it was discovered by a Google security report that the search engine actually warns users about “compromised” websites more than fourteen million times per day. Why is this an issue? Google is easily one of the biggest sources of traffic for any website. So, it is more or less a slap in the face when Google decides they do not want to grant access to your website. In fact, these possible malware notifications are crippling the amount of traffic coming into various websites.

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