Saturday, January 31, 2009

Google's and gmail's malware and spam issues for today

Though this is not as scary, there is a lot of "hubbub" about it - Google marked my site as malware. It is obvious that it must have been a human error.

"We work with a non-profit called to come up with criteria for maintaining this list, and to provide simple processes for webmasters to remove their site from the list.

We periodically update that list and released one such update to the site this morning.
Unfortunately (and here's the human error), the URL of '/' was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and '/' expands to all URLs.
We will carefully investigate this incident and put more robust file checks in place to prevent it from happening again."
- Marissa Mayer

The original post from Google was updated (updated text in blue) and it looks like Google is trying (though it might not be intentional) to shift blame on

It's not human error to include even junk input to a program. It's a human error NOT to check it though - URL '/' is a valid input in this case.

Almost 6 hours later, Gmail issues a statement saying that it uses Google's malware filters and mail might have went to spam.

Now this is scary because it happened to me (nobody searches my blog :P). Below is a cool thing though. I have a soft corner for Gmail's spam team - I think it is quite under-appreciated.

"We're working to roll out an automated fix to put these legitimate messages back into your inboxes, and we expect this to happen within a day. In the meantime, if you were expecting a critical message this morning, please check your spam folder. (We tune our spam filters well enough that ordinarily you should never have to check your spam folder.)"
- Gmail Blog

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