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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Google Search Service Suffers Glitch

A glitch in Google Inc.'s Internet search service caused the search giant to falsely warn users that every site they searched for could harm their computers for about an hour on Saturday.

In a blog post, Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience, attributed the error to a human mistake made while Google was updating a list of sites known to install malicious software.

Like other search engines, Google, Mountain View, Calif., uses that list to flag search results that could harm a user's computers with a warning: "This site may harm your computer." Due to an error in updating that list, that warning appeared across all results. In the blog post, Ms. Mayer said Google will "carefully investigate this incident and put more robust file checks in place to prevent it from happening again."

The hiccup underscores how even Google's largely automated systems can trip up, sending ripples throughout its worldwide user base.

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