The fallout from Google’s decision to list PinkNews.co.uk as a site containing “malware” on the StopBadware.org service continues.
For around 48 hours between Tuesday to Thursday of this week users of Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Google’s search engine were unable to access PinkNews.co.uk because of alleged security vulnerabilities.
The StopBadware.org service listed a number of alleged security vulnerabilities that they claim were installed by third parties, likely hackers.
Malware is a collective term for all types of damaging software such as trojans, spyware or viruses.
PinkNews.co.uk editor Tony Grew said today:
“Google’s decision to list PinkNews.co.uk as an attack site has damaged our reputation as well as lost us revenue.
“The LGBT community has also been deprived of its most trusted source of news, reducing freedom of speech online.
“As a result we are seriously considering our legal position.
“At no point has Google explained how the block was resolved.
“They say that they isolate “attack” sites to protect users and that sometimes third parties can attack sites and place malware code without the webmaster’s knowledge.
“We found no malware code, and we took no action to “clean” the site.
“The block was then suddenly lifted – why?
“We are angry at the way mega-corporations such as Google act towards smaller companies.”
A spokesman for Google told PinkNews.co.uk:
“Google has set up a number of automated systems to scour our index for potentially dangerous sites, and we add a label to those that appear to be a vehicle for malware, to protect users who might visit them.
“We also work with webmasters to help them keep their sites secure.
“It’s important to note that sites can sometimes be compromised without the webmaster’s knowledge, so we work to provide affected webmasters with further information on the issues we’ve identified, as well as tools to help them clean their sites and then request a review.
“All this stems directly from our security philosophy: We believe that if we all work together to identify threats and stamp them out, we can make the web a safer place for everyone.
“To that point, other search engines have also implemented similar tools to help detect sites that have become infected with malware.”