The 14th Feb 2012 edition of Microsoft’s software security update brought nine security bulletins that collectively address 21 software vulnerabilities, however the update didn’t run as smoothly as planned.
Two of Microsoft’s anti-virus programs, Microsoft Security Essentials and its business-market sibling Microsoft Forefront, mistakenly flagged Google.com as malicious, leaving millions of customers unable to get to the world’s most visited website
Google.com was marked as containing the Blackhole exploit kit, a virus that enables cyber criminals and hackers to build their own botnet targeting windows users.
Not longer after Microsoft flagged Google as malicious, users from the U.S, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark began flooding various forums complaining of not having access to Google’s search engine.
One user said:
I am having the same issue, but with google.com. Every time I do a search, MSE flags a file (search .htm, google_com.htm, etc) in my temp internet directory as Blacole.BW. And only since today’s (2/14) updates (I can’t say it’s the definition update for sure, as there were also other Windows security updates released today).
It didn’t take long for Microsoft’s Technet forums to be flooded with messages from annoyed Windows users, forcing the software giant to take note of the problem. Microsoft is said to have fixed the issue within four hours by releasing fresh patch updates.
Microsoft issued as statement on the issue via SecurityNewsDaily:
On February 14, 2012, an incorrect detection for Exploit:JS/Blacole.BW was released. We provided an update to addresses the issue (signature versions 1.119.1988.0 and higher) on the same day. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused our customers.
Surprisingly, this is not the first time Microsoft has flagged Google as malicious. Barely six months ago in September 2011, Microsoft not only marked Google’s Chrome browser, but also, automatically removed it from about 3,000 Windows machines.
I bet Google isn’t too happy with it’s main competitor at the moment.