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Google Issues Malware Warnings For Multiple High-Profile Sites

Google’s Chrome browser routinely stops a user from accessing a given website if the website is a security risk. It so happens that today, Google served malware warnings to many users who tried to access a number of high-profile websites. The security alarm was triggered because a rather popular ad network, NetSeer, had come under a malware attack.


Malware warning

The malware attack not only affected NetSeer’s own systems but also, apparently, a whole lot of websites which run the ads from the network. As a result, the malware risk was extended to these websites as well, prompting the warning to the users who tried to access these websites.

Among the blocked websites were a number of high-profile publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and ZDNet. However, a spokesperson for NetSeer was quick to state that the malware attack has affected only it corporate servers, leaving its ads network untouched and thus, safe. This essentially means that even if you chance upon the Google warning when visiting any of these websites, your machine doesn’t run any actual risk of infection.

He further said that ‘we have successfully cleaned the site of the malware issue’ and that NetSeer was now collaborating with Google ‘to do an expedited review of the site and remove the site from the malware impacted site-list so that browsing behavior can be restored for all users.’

Update 1: We just received an update from NetSeer

We are really apologetic, but the malware issue has started occurring again on Chrome as of the last few minutes. We are actively working to resolve it. Please take our tags off your site (s) till further notice. The malware issue seems much larger and is apparently impacting lot of networks today.

Update 2 We received this update from NetSeer at 8:45PM of 5th February, 2013

All Netseer ads are now totally back to normal. Our operations team went into all-hands-on-deck mode and we successfully cleaned the site of the malware issue. We worked with Google to do an expedited review of the site and remove the site from the malware impacted site-list so that browsing behavior can be restored for all users.

A full press release about the issue is mentioned here:
http://business.financialpost.com/2013/02/04/google-mistakenly-blocks-several-sites-with-malware-warnings-after-netseer-suffers-hack/

As a reminder, it was our corporate site that was hacked and infected with malware. Because NetSeer’s corporate site and ad serving infrastructure share the same domain (Netseer.com), Google flagged all of our ad serving partner sites with malware warnings as well. The malware was never served into ad serving stream and the browser behavior was completely due to ad serving and corporate website having same domain name.

Courtesy: The Verge

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