The Time Google Flagged Itself for Potentially Malicious Content

June 13, 2016

Did you know Google recently labeled itself as ‘partially dangerous’? Fortune released a story, Google Has Stopped Rating ‘’ as ‘Partially Dangerous’, which covers what happened. Google has a Safe Browsing tool which identifies potentially harmful websites by scanning URLs. Users noticed that Google itself was flagged for a short time. Was there a rational explanation? This article offers a technology-based reason for the rating,

“Fortune noted that Google’s Safe Browsing tool had stopped grading its flagship site as a hazard on Wednesday morning. A Google spokesperson told Fortune that the alert abated late last night, and that the Safe Browsing service is always on the hunt for security issues that might need fixing. The issue is likely the result of some Google web properties hosting risky user-generated content. The safety details of the warning specifically called out Google Groups, a service that provides online discussion boards and forums. If a user posted something harmful there, Google’s tool would have factored that in when assessing the security of the domain as a whole, a person familiar with the matter told Fortune.”

We bet some are wondering whether this is a reflection of Google management or the wonkiness of Google’s artificial intelligence? Considering hacked accounts alone, it seems like malicious content would be posted in Google Groups fairly regularly. This flag seems to be a flag for more than the “partially dangerous” message spells out. The only question remaining is, a flag for what?

Megan Feil, June 13, 2016
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