By Harry McCracken | 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 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?