If you’re a Windows users, it may have gone rogue on you this week by telling you that Google.com is a dangerous site to visit. This isn’t another one of Microsoft’s competitive prods at Google (this time), but rather the result of an error in the updates to Microsoft Security Essentials and Microsoft Forefront released earlier this week.
Users of these anti-virus programs were prevented from visiting Google as the updates mistakenly marked google.com as a site rich with malware just waiting to get inside your computer. Somehow, the Microsoft software unexpectedly produced a false positive detection of a nasty-sounding bug known as a Blackhole Exploit Kit, which is real malware that exploits users’ computers by turning them into unwitting accessories in the construction of villainous botnets.
Microsoft acknowledged the mistake in a statement to SecurityNewsDaily:
“On February 14, 2012, an incorrect detection for Exploit:JS/Blacole.BW was released. We provided an update to addresses the issue (signature versions 1.119.1988.0 and higher) on the same day. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused our customers.”
Well played, Microsoft. And if you’re a Windows user and haven’t somehow noticed that you can’t visit google.com – however you would manage to do that – you can install the subsequent update listed below to restore your access to the search engine.