Google on 19 April rated its own website as slightly dangerous. The search giant's Safe Browsing tool that scans URLs to identify and caution users about malicious websites has rated Google.com as a "partially dangerous domain".
Google's automated transparency report read: "Some pages on this website install malware on visitors' computers. Attackers on this site might try to trick you to download software or steal your information."
According to a report by Fortune, Google stopped rating its website as dangerous (partially or not), on 20 April. The search giant noted that the report on the vulnerability was generated as Google's Safe Browsing tool is always on alert to highlight any security issues that might require a resolution.
The transparency report seemed to have specifically pinpointed Google Groups, which provide discussion forums, as being one among others in hosting hazardous user-generated content. In other words, if a user posted something malicious in the discussion forum, then Google's Safe Browsing tool would have taken the malicious post into account when analysing the overall security of the domain as well.
The phenomenon is summed up clearly by Google security researchers in a blog post: "If a favorite website shows up as "dangerous," it's often due to user-uploaded bad content or a temporary malware infection. The Site Status will return to normal once the webmaster has cleaned up the website."
Coincidentally, Google's tool failed to issue security warnings for other search engines and social media platforms like Yahoo, Bing, Twitter and Facebook, all of which also frequently contain posts by users that could be considered as malicious.
The search giant recently upgraded its Safe Browsing tool for Chrome users to caution them about a "Deceptive Site Ahead" sign when the tool senses a potentially hazardous website or download has been suggested.