Why Google Flagged Its Own Google.com Domain As Partially Dangerous, As Well As Tumblr And Github

Sometimes you wake up not feeling real confident in yourself or your abilities and it seems as though Google might have been in that sort of mood yesterday. Had you used Google's own Safe Browsing Tool on Tuesday morning to check Google.com, as one reddit user did, you'd have discovered Google reporting its search site as "partially dangerous."

Google's tool combs through billions of URLs each day in search of unsafe websites that might be serving up malware. And each day it discovers thousands of new online land mines, "many of which are legitimate websites that have been compromised," Google explains. On Tuesday morning, Google.com was flagged as such a site.


If you use the tool to check Google.com now, you'll see it's back to being listed as "Not dangerous," though there are three site safety details to make note of. They include:
  • Some pages on this website install malware on visitors' computers
  • Some pages on this website redirect visitors to dangerous websites that install malware on visitors' computers
  • Dangerous websites have been sending visitors to this website
There was a fourth entry on Tuesday morning, one that stated "attackers on this site might try to trick you to download software or steal your information (for example passwords, messages, or credit card information."

Google Safe Browsing

Google wasn't the only popular website to be flagged as partially dangerous yesterday. The same was true of tumbler.com and github.com, a microblogging site and a Git repository hosting service, respectively. None of these sites are inherently dangerous, but Google's safety checker errs on the side of caution.

"Don't panic. Users sometimes post bad content on websites that are normally safe," Google states on its Safe Browsing Tool site. "Safe Browsing will update the safety status once the websmaster has cleaned up the bad content."

One possible explanation as to why Google flagged itself is that someone could have used Google's services to host malware, which in turn triggered the safety alert. As of this writing, all is good again, at least for Google.com—Tumblr and GitHub are both listed as partially dangerous.