The world’s most popular search engine was falsely identified by Microsoft as malware for four hours on Valentine’s Day due to a faulty software security update, leaving many frustrated Internet Explorer users unable to access Google.
The false positive affected searchers in the U.S., Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, and Denmark, according to ZDNet. Complaints quickly poured in on forums from people who updated Microsoft’s Forefront and Security Essentials. Google was labeled as a “severe” threat due to being infected with the Blackhole Exploit Kit – a nasty sounding exploit developed in Russia that allows hackers to target Windows users.
“On February 14, 2012, an incorrect detection for Exploit:JS/Blacole.BW was released,” Microsoft said in a statement to SecurityNewsDaily. “We provided an update to addresses the issue (signature versions 1.119.1988.0 and higher) on the same day. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused our customers.”
Not quite worthy of being called a St. Valentine’s Day tech massacre, but this isn’t the first time Microsoft’s security programs have had issues with Google. Google’s Chrome browser was deleted from about 3,000 users’ computers without permission due to what was called an “incorrect detection” last September.