Google Now Punishes Repeated Offender Websites That Contain Harmful Content

Google is cracking down on websites that repeatedly put up content that could compromise the security of end-users, including malicious software and harmful online ads. Here’s what you need to know.

Any website that violates Google’s Malware, Unwanted Software, Phishing, and Social Engineering Policies already prompts a warning on browsers under the Safe Browsing service, which looks like this:

Harmful content, including malicious software and deceptive webpages, compromise user security when browsing the web. Around on billion internet users are protected by Google’s Safe Browsing today and the service is used by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari.

The warning stays on until Google can verify the website is no longer harmful. But some websites have been gaming the service by repeatedly removing the harmful content only to reinstate it after being given the all clear.

Now Safe Browsing can identify those websites and put them on a Repeated Offender list. Websites that are hack won’t be put on the list, only sites that are deliberately posting harmful content will be added, according to Google.

Once on the list, the webmasters of those sites won’t be able to request a review from Google to clear it off the list of 30 days. The warning will stay on the sites during this time.

Google has continuously beefed up the security of Safe Browsing ever since the service was launched in 2005. Recently, Safe Browsing added capabilities to identify and display warnings on websites that are used for social engineering attacks.

[Google Security Blog]

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