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This Site May Harm Your Computer

Posted on 19th March, 2007

No, not Sabahan.com but another site that was label as such that I came across while searching for ‘StarCraft hotkeys’. Check the first result to see what I saw.

I am a gamer, and I love playing strategy games like StartCraft and Age of Empires III. However, I don’t play as often as before due to my busy schedule.

Anyway, this topic is not about those games but a new feature which was recently introduced in Google’s search results. You may have encountered this when searching for certain topics where a sentence “This site may harm your computer” appears below the site title.

It appears that Google is trying to identify potentially harmful sites so that you do not unwittingly click on the result and have malicious software installed on your computer.

Here’s an example

malware.gif

However some webmasters are complaining that Google is flagging their sites as containing malicious software when they believe their sites are harmless.

If you have a forum on your site, it could be flagged as a result of those pesky spam bots that were creating posts linking to malware.

Whether it’s intentional or not, sites that are hosting javascript exploits or malicious script on their pages will also be flagged

But what should you do if your site is flagged as hosting malware when it isn’t?

Matt Cutts the Google guy suggested that you can appeal by doing the following

  • Click on the “StopBadware.org” link on the interstitial that Google shows.
  • On the resulting page is the phrase “If you are the administrator of the website that was reported to us and would like to speak with us, please see our contact page.” Click on that contact link to read about how to email and lodge an appeal with StopBadware.

Read more: Info about malware warnings and how to appeal them

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Victor
 

An engineer by training, Victor has been working full-time online as an Internet marketer, a programmer and an app developer since 2001. He has been blogging at Sabahan.com since 2006 sharing his experience and teaching people how to make money online. Click here to join his private Facebook Group for bloggers.

  • GoodBadnUgly says:

    The problem is that while some sites are accurately accused, others are harmless. I know because one of the sites I administer was “flagged”. No changes were made by me of the hosting provider (who ran multiple scans). The site was submitted via the “appeals process” and came back clean. StopBadWare.Org’s response “You must have removed the offending code…” The real issue here is that StopBadWare.Org has been given a lot of power and in their quest to flag bad sites, they are also flagging harmless sites. The repercussions of flagging and delisting a site are enormous. Who is policing the police. There are no checks and balances here. StopBadWare.Org’s methodology is appalling. They need to needs to post “retractions/apologies” of incorrect site-flaggings and perhaps even pay restitution to cover damages. A public false accusation which harms a person’s reputation and/or business is nothing more than slander. And also importantly they need to provide evidence of the presence of malicious code before delisting. Furthermore, despite claims to the contrary, they do not contact the site Administrators and many (if not most) of owners of the 30,000+ sites they have de-listed are unaware of their status. I did not find out myself until my hosting provider happened to conduct a Google search on a whim.

  • Kay Kastum says:

    Hmm.. this site is also came under warning obviously. http://www.crackspider.net. (Ehem-ehem)

  • Azmeen says:

    pinolobu,

    Probably they should include the warning on whitehouse.gov 😉

  • pinolobu says:

    Looks like google have not given any warning yet on nuclearworldwarsite.com

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