Chicago (IL) - TG Daily observed significant problems with Google's servers today. Whereas Google News was affected yesterday, today it is the main Google search engine at www.google.com. Users searching for anything will find that all returned pages include a warning that the site may harm their computer. This effectively blocks the URL link from being a click operation, and now requires manual intervention to visit the site.
Today I was going to update the Windows 7 beta UAC completely vulnerable to malware article to include a link to Microsoft's Software Developer Network (MSDN) on the SendKeys function used to exploit Windows 7 beta (and ultimately Windows 7 when it's released).
When I searched for "msdn sendkeys" it returned this:
Every website it returned has the warning "This site may harm your computer". Clicking on the link to go to msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/8c6yea83(VS.85).aspx, results in Google warning about the dangers of Microsoft's site. And, irony aside, there is no danger in going to Microsoft's MSDN site.
Additionally, clicking on the help screen, called Safe Browsing Diagnostics Page, results in a server error being reported.
I quickly realized that it wasn't just an error with this one site. Repeating any search returned every link with the same warning - indicating Google is having internal server issues right now.
The Google warning page above stops you from going to the site. A user must manually go up to the URL address bar and remove the portion of the address which redirects to google.com. This may not be a task most users are aware they can do (or even how to do it), effectively rendering Google's search pages blocked or useless during this time without such manual cut-and-paste operations.
Some web browsers which provide an enhanced user interface by allowing part of a web-page URL to be typed in, for example, were also affected as that functionality would simply result in the Google main page coming up rather than the intended destination.
It's amazing how much of our online life is attached to Google searches. This is something to seriously consider because if Google was ever taken down? ... what kind of immediate impact would it have on our online lives?