For Chrome users, a malware warning page popped up on Monday across many major websites — The New York Times, IMDb, The Hollywood Reporter, Talking Points Memo, and MSN Money, to name a few — due to so-called blacklisting bug inside Google's ad network. NetSeer.com, which describes itself as a "concept-based contextual advertising" outfit, was hacked Monday morning, according to ZDNet's Zack Whittacker. The breach got into NetSeer's corporate website, not its ad network, but both use the same domain name — NetSeer.com — which led Google to put that address on its warning list for all Chrome users. The domain-name addition pushed out warnings to all websites that use NetSeer to serve their ads, which apparently includes a lot of major websites on the Internet. Here's what the warning, which was still floating around intermittently as of midday, looks like:
Unlike NetSeer, those that carry the temporary Google warning have no harmful content on them — and users who see the warning pages shouldn't worry about malware infections, according to NetSeer and The Guardian, one of the dozens of affected sites. It's unclear if Google meant to block both the domain that serves the ads, as well as the NetSeer company website.
Meanwhile, NetSeer claims it has removed all the malware from its own website and is working with Google throughout the day to take its domain off the Chrome blacklist, as the company explained in a statement:
“Our operations team went into all-hands-on-deck mode and we have successfully cleaned the site of the malware issue. We are also working with Google to do an expedited review of the site and remove the site from the malware impacted site-list so that browsing behavior can be restored for all users.
So, whenever that happens, all of those foreboding messages popping up across the Internet should disappear, too.”
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