[The entire internet] may harm your computer

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

In what may be the biggest false alarm the world has ever seen, Google labelled the entire internet as potentially virus-infected yesterday.

For about 45 minutes, users of the world’s most popular search engine were seeing erroneous messages of “This site may harm your computer” alongside the results of every search query.

Of course, warnings like these were not going to go un-noticed and millions of people blogged, instant messaged and Tweeted what they were seeing.

To their credit, Google moved quickly to fix the problem and posted an explanation, apologising for what they described as a “human error”. By being open about what had happened, and not trying to sweep details under the carpet, they behaved appropriately. No-one is going to stop using Google because of this.

Of course, most clouds have a silver lining, and it’s possible that…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.