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Subdomain of TechCrunch blacklisted by Google for malware distribution

Tim Callan’s SSL Blog – Online Security Tim Callan’s SSL Blog: Subdomain of TechCrunch blacklisted by Google for malware distribution Tim Callan’s SSL Blog Demystifying the Web’s Secure Backbone « Great session at the Online Trust and Cybersecurity Forum | Main | GeoTrust leads the pack again » Subdomain of TechCrunch blacklisted by Google for malware distribution

As of posting time, a Google search of the phrase techcrunch crunchies yields as its first result a blacklisted result for the 2009 Crunchies award page (crunchies2009.techcrunch.com). The details page shows that on September 28 (yesterday) Google found malware distributed on this subdomain of TechCrunch.

This result gives you an opportunity to see how a real, blacklisted site looks on Google. If you do click on the link for crunchies2009.techcrunch.com (it’s safe; don’t worry) you’ll go to a Google roadblock page that reads,

Warning – visiting this web site may harm your computer!Suggestions:Return to the previous page and pick another result.Try another search to find what you’re looking for.Or you can continue to http://crunchies2009.techcrunch.com/ at your own risk. For detailed information about the problems we found, visit Google’s Safe Browsing diagnostic page for this site.

For more information about how to protect yourself from harmful software online, you can visit StopBadware.org.

If you are the owner of this web site, you can request a review of your site using Google’s Webmaster Tools. More information about the review process is available in Google’s Webmaster Help Center.
Advisory provided by Google

I can only imagine the devastating effect this roadblock has on natural search traffic, especially for sites that directly depend on traffic or transactions for their livelihood.

The good news is that web site malware scanning is a robust technology that can help you spot and fix these problems before they infect your visitors – or get you blacklisted. I’m confident that TechCrunch will fix this problem shortly, but wouldn’t the site have been better off avoiding the lost traffic and brand damage that accompany such an incident?

Which of course is part of the reason we have included web site malware scanning with our VeriSign-branded SSL Certificates.

Posted by Tim Callan on September 29, 2010 10:15 AM
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