Mountain View, CA - Web surfers using Google searches during a nearly one-hour period yesterday were greeted with disturbing but erroneous messages that every site turned up in the results might be harmful.
The company blamed the mistake on human error and apologized for any inconvenience caused to users and site owners whose pages were incorrectly labeled.
The glitch occurred between 9:30 a.m. and 10:25 a.m., Google said in an explanation on its company blog.
Anyone who did a Google search during that time likely saw the message “This site may harm your computer” accompanying every search result.
Google said it routinely flags any search results with that message if the site is known to install malicious software in the background or otherwise surreptitiously.
Google receives regular updates to a list of malicious Web sites from StopBadware.org, which investigates bad sites.
Yesterday’s glitch happened when someone in Google erroneously applied one of its periodic list updates in such a way that the warning applied to all Web site addresses, the company said.
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