Google Safe Browsing will now label consistently harmful sites as 'Repeat Offenders'

Google Safe Browsing will now label consistently harmful sites as 'Repeat Offenders'

Kenneth Drake
November 10, 2016

The alerts appear as long as Google believes the site poses a threat.

KitGuru Says: Given how many sites could potentially circumvent being flagged by safe browsing, it is good to see Google implementing this new policy.

Not surprising, some took advantage of the mechanism for lifting the warnings. To get around that problem, sites clean up their act, apply to Google to get the site warning lifted, and then-once the warning is gone-the malware or unwanted software returns. Whist users will still have the last say in whether they wish to continue accessing such sites, there is a chance that the news may cause developers to think twice before pushing their sites forward.

Google is getting tougher on malicious websites that attempt to game its Safe Browsing review system to have security warnings removed.

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That end-around was as if a restaurant scrubbed its kitchen at the order of a city health department, but as soon as the inspector left, had employees upend garbage pails. Repeat Offender status persists for 30 days, after which the webmaster will be able to request a review. The time-out was meant to discourage sites from repeating the dirty-clean again and again and again. It will only be used for sites which are designed specifically to attack web users. That was almost twice the next-most-popular browser's share; Microsoft's Internet Explorer (and successor, Edge) accounted for 28% of all browsers. This verification could be triggered automatically, or it could be made at the request of the site's webmaster, Google explains in an announcement.

"Starting today, Safe Browsing will begin to classify these types of sites as 'Repeat Offenders,'" Brooke Heinichen, strategist, safe browsing operations at Google, posted in blog.

Websites that are hacked will not be classified as Repeat Offenders; only sites that purposefully post harmful content will be subject to the policy.