Google Describes AFL Websites Vulnerable to Hacking
An Internet search on Google for Australian Football League clubs, particularly the St Kilda Saints and the Sydney Swans, brings the group of words, "This site may harm your computer". These words are displayed below the search results.
If users click on the link of AFL sites, they are led to the Help Center page of Google that provides safety tips about sinister software. Although warnings are issued, it doesn't seem to have any security problems with the teams' Websites.
Users who want to visit the football team sites, which are hosted by Telstra's BigPond, must manually enter the URL address directly into the address bar of the browser.
Roger Thompson, Chief Research Officer, AVG Technologies, said that the crucial thing is to 'cut and paste' the URL link straight with the browser's address bar. In fact, Roger discovered Google warning after unsuccessful attempt to access the St Kilda site, as reported by Cnet on February 26, 2008.
The warning from Google has a specific purpose to identify risky sites and preventing surfers from viewing malware-loaded pages.
Stopbadware.org, an organization which works together with Google to test suspicious Web pages, writes in its FAQ section that many sites emerging through the search engine's result have been hacked or are hosting third-party content, the main reason for distributing malware.
Thompson also said that at some point, hackers might have been managed to compromise those sites, particularly the AFL sites. The amusing part is that although they are all in normal state now, yet they continue to be labeled as bad.
On February 20, 2008, the teams' Websites were indicated as 'compromised'. Google is still monitoring the malware-infested sites and intends to remove the banner once standard procedures confirm that they are free from danger. Any Webmaster wanting to review the warning about his site can readily do any time.
However, Craig Middleton, BigPond Group Manager of Corporate Affairs, elaborated about the security problem in e-mails and remarked that Google's search function wrongly identified a data file that was corrupt and labeled as 'malware' and so attributed to the football club sites the erroneous flag of 'compromised'.
Related article: Google Rectifies Gmail flaw in Three Days
» SPAMfighter News - 29-02-2008