StopBadware.org helps false positive malware sites clear their name

By Justin Mann on February 4, 2009, 12:58 PM
A recent error over at Google resulted in a huge smattering of sites being identified as malware-hosting that were actually in the clear. The problem was so large, that for a brief while every site searched for was listed as being home to malware. While Google got the problem fixed in short order, it ended up bringing StopBadware.org to its knees with the incredible amount of traffic redirected to it by Google.

After admitting they were to blame, Google cleared up the situation and went on their way. Unfortunately for many actually legit sites, it seems that in the process they were erroneously identified as harmful, and still remain tagged despite the problem being fixed. This has caused considerable upset with many website owners, who are unhappy with Google's automated system of removal. StopBadware.org is extending a hand to those who need help, with a manual review system that lets website owners have their site inspected for malware and their names cleared.

Google's level of automation is very high, and due to how well their services normally work it has rarely caused a problem. Anyone who used Google during that one-hour window over the weekend saw just how bad things can get when that automation goes wrong, however. The sites misidentified by them no doubt suffered because of that, not only being denied traffic but harming their reputation. Luckily for them, they do have sites like StopBadware.org on their side when things go wrong.

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