Thanks to Google’s Safe Browsing technology, billions of URLs are analyzed daily. It detects plenty of unsafe websites, and some of them are often legitimate sites that have been compromised one way or another.
But what if the “google.com” domain would be marked as dangerous by Google’s own Safe Browsing technology? Surely that wouldn’t happen… right? Well, it already has.
One thing that’s admirable is the company’s choice to be honest about it as it flagged its main domain as partially harmful. But what exactly does this flagging mean? Is it no longer safe to Google search for that funny cat video on YouTube anymore?
Like any other site on the list, “google.com” is unsafe only when in the wrong hands. Here is a screenshot of why “google.com” can be harmful:
But Google’s main domain is not the only major website that’s been added to the list of unsafe sites; a lot of other popular sites like “github.com” and “tumblr.com” have also be listed as partially dangerous.
From the perspective of a website operator, Google urges them to sign up for the company’s security notifications. Google’s findings were detailed in a study of 760,935 hijacked websites conducted by the University of California, Berkeley.
Accompanying the survey is a list of the potentially harmful site and an explanation for why these sites have been flagged, and according to the search giant, the majority of such sites are safe, but some of the content uploaded by users could be considered bad or malware.
For example, a page that’s been blacklisted by Google’s Safe Browsing technology could be used by people trying to scam you, either by redirecting you to completely unsafe websites or by making you download and install malicious software.
According to the Reddit user who first noticed this strange addition to the list, “Bing.com” is also safe. But then again, how many people really use Bing.com? That search engine is bad in its own way.
It’s becoming clearer and clearer that internet browsing can never be 100% safe, even when the site you rely on for information is owned by the greatest technology company that ever existed.
Thinking of what you could do to prevent unsafe browsing? In Google’s own words: Don’t Panic; just surf safely.
At the same time, it’s a relief that the study found that 80 percent of site operators had taken action and removed attack code from their sites after Google’s first appeal to have the site unflagged as potentially malicious.
Image Source: Threat Post