Google: The Web is Dangerous! All of It! Bwahahahahahahahahahah!

By  |  Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 10:40 am

And here I thought that the Zune December 31st bug would have no rivals as the most memorable computer glitch to come along in eons. Nope: This morning, Google’s malware-detecting feature decided that all Web sites might be dangerous, and flagged them as such in search results. By all Web sites, I mean all of them. The entire Web. Even Google itself (image borrowed from the BBC):

Google Malware

Google honcho Marissa Mayer explains what went wrong in a blog post (with the excellent title of “‘This site may harm your computer’ on every search result?!?!“: A simple “/” accidentally got added to the list of sites that the company uses to spot potentially dangerous destinations. That led the search engine to think the entire Internet was malware.

Simple understandable human mistake; colossal, colossally bizarre implications. Fortunately, the end result was more amusing than anything else. Or so I hope at least–I wonder if any Google users panicked this morning, even briefly?

 
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  1. Benj Edwards Says:

    I noticed it too and was slightly alarmed for about 30 seconds, until I realized that every page was flagged the same way. I figured it was a Google administration error.

3 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Google Falls Down, Gets Back Up | Technologizer Says:

    [...] on the Google Blog, but I hope that the company acknowledges them and explains what happened. Like last January’s bizarre glitch that left Google identifying the entire Web as dangerous, this morning’s outage is a sobering reminder of just how dependent we are on the [...]

  2. Should We Call It the Bing Screen of Death? | Technologizer Says:

    [...] big press event and rollout of new features. But at least it’s in good company: Google had a weird hour-long period back in January when it thought the entire Web was dangerous, and Gmail has suffered multiple extended hiccups this year. I wonder what the biggest Web site is [...]

  3. Facebook’s Megafail Explained - Techland - TIME.com Says:

    [...] two-day disappearance. As a bug, it didn't produce results as hilarious as the 2009 screwup that left Google identifying the entire Web as malware.  But the Facebook glitch that left "many" users without access to the site for two and a half [...]

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