News

QOTD: Introducing Google Epic Fail

Published on January 31, 2009
by John Paczkowski

If you did a Google search between 6:30 a.m. PST and 7:25 a.m. PST this morning, you likely saw that the message ‘This site may harm your computer’ accompanied each and every search result. This was clearly an error, and we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to our users.

What happened? Very simply, human error. Google flags search results with the message ‘This site may harm your computer’ if the site is known to install malicious software in the background or otherwise surreptitiously….We periodically update that list and released one such update to the site this morning. Unfortunately (and here’s the human error), the URL of ‘/’ was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and ‘/’ expands to all URLs. Fortunately, our on-call site reliability team found the problem quickly and reverted the file. Since we push these updates in a staggered and rolling fashion, the errors began appearing between 6:27 a.m. and 6:40 a.m. and began disappearing between 7:10 and 7:25 a.m., so the duration of the problem for any particular user was approximately 40 minutes.”

Google apologizes for mistakenly flagging the entire Internet as malware earlier this morning.

Return to: QOTD: Introducing Google Epic Fail

URL: http://allthingsd.com/20090131/qotd-epic-fail/