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Every Web Site is Malicious?

Every Web Site is Malicious?

I was going to write this week’s security article about the patches Microsoft released yesterday (February 10, 2009), but they weren’t very exciting this month. So, instead, I’ll just start this tip by saying if you haven’t already installed the patches, you should do so now. You should always install your Microsoft updates. Even if they’re boring, they’re always absolutely necessary!

Okay, now that I’ve made my public service announcement, I have a story to tell you!

Do you use Google as your main search engine? If so, you may have seen a box like this before:

It’s a warning box Google uses to warn you about bad Web sites before you visit them. Google teamed up with stopbadware.org to make the warning system and most of the time, it works very well.

Now, I told you that story so that I can tell you this story. Last Monday, I came into work after the weekend and started my normal routine. I started up my computer, got my coffee and began to check my e-mail. Usually, I expect to have a lot of e-mail on a Monday, but when I saw I had over 80 e-mails, I nearly spit out my coffee!

I started to read through the e-mails and many of them were from customers telling me they went to WorldStart’s Web site and got the Google warning you see above. I thought to myself that there must be some mistake, so I started trying to figure out what was happening.

Luckily, it didn’t take too long for me to figure it out! It seems as if Google made a mistake. At 11:44 PST, Google mistakenly marked every Web site on the entire Internet as “potentially harmful.” When that happened, every Web site anyone would visit via a Google link received the warning. Since the warning provides a link to stopbadware.org, their site ended up crashing.

So, for those of you who tried to visit WorldStart’s Web site (or any others for that matter) at 11:44 on Saturday, January 31, 2009, you can rest at ease that it was just a mistake.

It just goes to show that even the best protection in the world is not always perfect. Common sense is always the best protection. Until next time, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary