Embarrassing gaffe or commendable honesty? Google’s “Safe Browsing” section of its online transparency report delivers a less-than-impressed verdict on the company’s main search engine.
“Some pages on google.com contain deceptive content right now,” explains the automated report, which has assigned the search engine a partially-dangerous status.
The report goes into details:
Some pages on this website install malware on visitors’ computers.
Attackers on this site might try to trick you to download software or steal your information (for example passwords, messages, or credit card information).
Some pages on this website redirect visitors to dangerous websites that install malware on visitors’ computers, including: 7b726aeb-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com,polnu4ewtan4iwki.ws, and 40d0dfd9-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com.
Dangerous websites have been sending visitors to this website, including: maeaflordapele.com, valeimaginar.blogspot.com, and bou7out.blogspot.com.
Google’s transparency report delivers its usual warning for visitors not to panic, noting that: “Users sometimes post bad content on websites that are normally safe. Safe Browsing will update the safety status once the webmaster has cleaned up the bad content.”
Helpfully, it also points Google.com’s webmaster in the direction of this Webmasters Help for Hacked Sites advice page, which outlines the steps Google will need to take to clean and maintain its site before requesting a review from Google to declare that Google is safe for visitors again.
In the meantime, concerned web users may wish to try alternative search engines. Microsoft’s Bing.com is currently assigned a “not dangerous” status by Google, despite its report flagging up the fact that some pages on that website also redirect visitors to malware-installing sites.
Anonymous search engine DuckDuckGo, meanwhile, gets a clean bill of health according to its Google Safe Browsing report.
This article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 20th April 2016 09.34 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010