Google Chrome blocked access to websites including TechCrunch, Cult of Mac, Inside Facebook, and VatorNews for some users yesterday after detecting malware in ads from the isocket ad network, The Next Web reported. All issues appear to have been resolved.
However, it seems it was all a false alarm. And John Ramey, isocket Founder & CEO, lashed out at Google in a statement:
“So far we have zero indications of malware actually being distributed by our ad server, and zero traces of any breaches to our industry-standard security. Google’s malware system is often contradictory and prone to false positives that inappropriately cripple good websites. We are vigorously investigating what the issue may have been and trying to get our publishers back online. It’d be nice if Google was as quick to fix a false positive as they were to cripple good businesses.”
In June, a Google security report revealed that the search engine warns users about “compromised” sites upwards of 14 million times per day.
This is a good reminder that should Google flag your website for having malware, you could be slapped with a penalty that tanks your traffic for hours – if not days – so always make sure to check your Google Webmaster Tools account for messages to avoid potential issues like this one.
It’s possible malware notifications may not show up in your account for a few hours after it's actually flagged, so keep an eye on your Twitter stream and Facebook wall, as users may be the first ones to notify you of issues like this. Once you’re alerted, start investigating immediately and if you find a problem, either remove the offending code or contact your third-party vendor to investigate the root of the issue.
Google was also the victim of a wrongful malware flagging by Microsoft last year.